Friday, February 7, 2014

The Beginning

Hello from Deutschland!

I have arrived safely in Germany and day number 7 of the trip is coming to an end. All is well so far and I'm enjoying my time here... Let's rewind a bit and start from the beginning.

I left home in White Rock last Saturday and started the journey with a drive down I-5 to SeaTac Airport. It was a tearful goodbye at security, as I left my girlfriend and parents. Sitting at the departure gate, I was excited to get going but also sad to be leaving behind my loved ones. It was certainly a day of mixed emotions. After boarding the plane, we were informed that the entertainment system was out of commission. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, as my laptop is ready to go; but unfortunately my laptop battery also decided to die. It made for a long 7.5 hour flight to Reykjavik, Iceland. I have never been the best sleeper on planes, and as this flight left in the afternoon, that didn't change. I managed to get maybe 30 minutes of sleep. Upon arriving in Reykjavik, I realized as we touched down that I only had 20 minutes until my flight to Munich was leaving. As I frantically got off the plane, I looked for my gate on the screen and it read "Last Call". Somehow I managed to make it there just in time. I got on the plane and we were up in the air again before I knew it. It actually worked out quite well. From Reykjavik it was a 3.5 hour flight to Munich. I arrived Sunday around noon.

I have trained everyday this week since arriving. My first session was on Monday and I definitely had very heavy legs and was feeling the jet lag. It was just a technique session. These first days after travelling are always tough to get through, but I find I always feel much better the next day. Tuesday was my first chance to train with a team here in Munich. The level was very good and I was impressed with the individual ability of the players. Every single player is very good technically. So comfortable on the ball and they know how to play the right way. The training sessions are run very efficiently. As it is "pre-season" right now for the clubs over here, there is a huge emphasis on technique and fitness. I like the way the coaches incorporate both of these into the training sessions. We are usually split up into separate groups and will go and work on different aspects of training at separate times and then switch stations. This makes for much more touches on the ball and makes the overall sessions much more effective. I have trained everyday this week and felt better every single day. My sleeping pattern was kind of all over the place during the first couple of days. It's starting to get back to normal now, which is helping for sure. I feel very comfortable with the level here. I like the way that they play and have enjoyed the training sessions so far.

During my time off, I have been mostly relaxing. I'm staying in a small town about 30 minutes from downtown Munich. I had a chance to check out the city yesterday and have a quick walk around. It seems like a very interesting place. Germany seems different to anywhere else I have played. I'm looking forward to having more of a chance to check it out.

The first week is always a tough one. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss home. I miss my incredibly supportive girlfriend and parents. I have been speaking to everyone back home regularly. Luckily there is FaceTime and iMessage. Although it's hard, I came here with a purpose and goals to achieve. Without support from everyone back home, I don't know if I could do this. Between missing loved ones, jet lag, being in a foreign environment and playing surrounded by a language you don't understand, among other factors; it is never easy. But I've been through this so many times before, that I feel accustomed to it now.

Now that week one is in the books, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next week. I feel very good physically, after training everyday this week. The training I've done with the club in Munich has been very helpful to help me prepare for what comes next. Next week I will be heading to Austria to train with a different team. I'm excited for the opportunity and looking forward to seeing how it goes. I've never been to Austria before, so it should be interesting to check out another European country on and off the field!

To everyone back home, I miss you and appreciate the support more than you'll ever know. Expect another update soon. I have taken so many photos already, so look for many more to come on here.


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