Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welwyn, GB...First Stop on the tour!

Welwyn, GB

In part, I write this blog to let you all know my happening from the last month, and in part to stay awake! Jet lag is a tricky feeling, and sometimes hard to predict, but I will conquer!

I am finally in EUROPE! :)

This past month has been entirely focused on competing in Europe. I've been tuning up a few positions in my hammer throw. My coach, Lance Deal and his wife Nancy took a little vacation to San Diego. Not only to enjoy the city, but so Lance could watch me throw before my trip. It was great to finally show coach and his wife what I do day to day, both in my training and in my personal life. Throwing with Lance Deal at The Olympic Training Center was great. He gave me a few new position and cues to think about. It was long over due, I was getting a little tried of practicing the old cues. After working on few drills and a new starting position in the ring, the feeling of keeping my heel on the ground became little more familiar to my body.

Thursday and Friday were training days, but Saturday was a day to enjoy the town! We first stopped by a little breakfast place in the Gaslamp. Stuffed French Toast is the dish they are known for, but I opted for the Monte Cristo - a ham and swiss sandwich, deep fried and topped with powered sugar. It sounds not too appetizing, but it was delicious. After the amazing breakfast, we walked around the Gaslamp and onto Harbor Drive. We explored Sea Port Villagea bit and were drawn towards the U.S.S. Midway, a gigantic WWII era Aircraft Carrier.

U.S.S. Midway

Pictures of the USS Midway do no justice to how big it really is. Coach had always wanted to explore the ship. Since we had a few hours to kill before their flight took off, we got in line to see the USS Midway. I never really thought about what was on an aircraft carrier, but it is basically a city on the sea. It was great to hear all the stories in each area of the ship. From the bunk rooms, to the brig, to the engine room and to the ready room; each story was unique and very informative! I learned that the U.S.S. Midway was the ship that my Grandfather came home on after the war!

After the quick trip around the ship and up to the flight deck, it was time for coach and his wife to fly on the big bird back to Eugene.

This past week I spent most of the time preparing for my trip. Throwing went well with all my positions holding up in the ring. I backed off a little on my lifting, giving my body a little recovery time before my trip. I knew my body would be pretty stressed from traveling, and stressing it out even more by lifting heavy and going full boar would not equal throwing my farthest!

I arrived to London yesterday morning, after a night filled with packing and asking myself if I really needed “all this stuff”. I flew from San Diego to Washington Dullas. After a quick layover, I was off to London! I tried with all my might to sleep on the plane. I slept for a few hours but I could never get comfortable. Also, it was not helpful that the lady in front of me thought that she needed all three lights on while she read her book. ;)

After landing in London's Heathrow airport, I met up with Reese Hoffa, Shaun Pickering and Coach Don Babbitt. Reese and I had a few minutes to kill before Shaun and Don landed, so he put a few movies on my computer. I tried to figure out how to do it before I left, but I am not too computer savvy. Now, I know I need to download a converter. Thank you, Reese.

Once Shaun and Don arrived, we were off to the local track for a shot put demonstration by Reese and Don. It was great to see all the people out at the shot ring learning from one of the best.

I headed home to Shaun’s mum's house in Welwyn, right as the rain showers started. Shaun’s mum has been gracious enough to let me stay at her house this week.

Eventually I will be staying with Shaun in Loughborough, GB. I will be training in Loughborough because it is one of the few places I could find to throw my hammer to train. It is a little hard to find a “hammer friendly” place in Europe. Since Futbol is the nations past time, hammer holes do not make for happy ankles. I can guess I can understand their point. :)

Today, I will be throwing in the McCain UK Challenge Throwfest at Barnet Copthall, and tomorrow, I leave for a meet in Sweden.

I plan to do a little walking around before I head to the track. Shaun’s mum's house is a little north of London, in Welwyn. The town is full by gardens and little pubs and I can not wait to explore. I will post pictures on Facebook, as I take them!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far!


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