Almost done with the first month of Year two zero seventeen. I started off the year at a Training Camp in Mittersill, Austria! The European Judo Union hosts this camp every single year, and it’s a great way to get back into the training mentality after the holidays! I was at the camp for 7 days, and we have practice twice a day! This was my second time at the Olympic Training Camp (OTC) in Mittersill, Austria. It is really a beautiful place. It is a hard camp, but when you walk outside and look at the beauty you are surrounded by- you really learn to appreciate the world in a whole new way! I am one of the lucky ones that have gotten the opportunity to travel and see such amazing things- so I really am thankful that I get to do these things. Even though, my body hurts, my fingers are dislocated and sometimes I question my sanity of why I chose to put my body through the pain. But honestly, it is worth it! I really love what I do.
Every trip is always a learning experience. Every time I go to a competition, every time I travel to new places I always learn something new about myself. Through the years, I have learned to become more adaptable, and roll with the punches. My trip to Europe did not go so smoothly this time around. There was a big snow storm in NYC, and I don’t think anybody in the city was prepared for the snow that they were going to get. Our plane was already delayed because of the snow, so we were rushed onto the plane only to sit there on the tarmac for 4 hours because 1. They couldn’t get the cargo doors to shut and then 2.
we had to wait for them to de-ice the wings. The captain would make his announcements and every time he made one, he kept telling us that we were going to be delayed. I got to watch two movies before the plane even took off. All together we were delayed for 6 hours before we got into the sky! So, I had a layover in London, and of course everyone missed their connections. I ended up getting re-routed to Berlin, my final destination - Copenhagen. I planned on flying to Copenhagen first to stay with my boyfriend for one night before heading to Munich the next day.
I landed in Copenhagen, way later than I wanted to, and of course I had no luggage! I am not proud of this moment but I cried. I am going to blame it partly on the trip exhaustion- but I cried like a little baby because my bag was not there. The British Airlines also couldn’t place where my bag was so that also made me even more upset!
Like I said before I am not proud of this moment, I cried on the metro, and complained a little more to my boyfriend because I did not have ANY of my things for the camp! I think I might have cried a little more the next day on the way to the airport when we were flying to Munich. (Great way to start off the year, right?) so yeah, my first few days of the training camp. I was wearing, Emile Sook’s GreenHill Gi, Marti Malloy’s, leggings, Angelica Delgado’s Sport Bra, and my boyfriends shirts. They were so awesome, and supportive. I really appreciate how nice they were to lend me some of their things. I literally only had the clothes that I traveled in. I literally had nothing!!
I guess I can say, I learned a little lesson here. 1. To always pack some essentials and extra clothes in my carry-on bag and 2. To not overreact when things don’t go as planned. I was uncomfortable because I didn’t have my things, but I realized that I could still train and have good practices without my things. I always see these quotes like “sometimes being uncomfortable is the only way to save yourself from settling.” Or “The days you are most uncomfortable are the days you learn the most about yourself.”
I really did learn something about myself, and now I need to work on embracing moments like this and always try to look for the positive- in any situation. I ended up getting my bag of belongings on the third day of training, so I got to finish the training camp with my belongings.
The funny thing is, on the way back to the States, KLM (a different airline) misplaced my luggage as well! What are the odds? I am very proud of myself, this time I didn’t cry when my luggage wasn’t there. I mean, who wants to deal with a bag of dirty clothes after a very long training camp. My bag is in desperate need of some laundry service. Anyways, I went to the counter and filled out all the paperwork ( I am a pro now) and found out that my bag never even left Europe with me. My bag was still sitting at the Copenhagen airport just chillin. The lady informed me that my bag was going to take a flight from Copenhagen to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to NYC, NYC to Atlanta, then Atlanta – Albany. The JFK airport apparently doesn’t fly to Albany, Airport where I live. So, my nice little sports bag literally went on an adventure without me. If only my bag could talk right?!
I am back in New York for a few weeks to work and make some money, then I am off to compete at my first competition of the year. I will be starting off the year in Belgium, then making my way to Paris for the Paris Grand Slam, then I will go back to Austria to compete at the Women’s European Open, and then spend a few days in Copenhagen for a training camp and to be with my boyfriend.
I have a busy schedule ahead. After the European Tour, I will be heading to South America in March, and then will be preparing for the Pan American Championships at the end of April!
I am really looking forward to this year!
I have a feeling that it is really going to be great!