April 12, 2017
Well, it's been a long journey. We arrived in Ukraine at 3:30pm. Everyone was excited until we still had three hours to go to Kolomiya. We met up with our driver Yuma and proceeded to our final destination. The weather is a little bit cooler than back home, sun was still of out, but i the was somewhat cloudy. Overall it was OK, not much of a drastic change from the weather home.
We finally arrived to Kolomiya at about 7-7:30pm. We quickly dropped our luggage off in our respective rooms and went to eat down the street. We had a beet salad prepared waiting for us, with some rye and wheat toast. Not everyone was too excited above up the beet salad, only a couple of us enjoyed it. After, we were served some chicken with buckwheat. The kids didn't take to this too well either. Majority just ate the chicken.
One thing they will have to learn is to immerse themselves,vessels in this trip, which includes the food. There is such a big difference between taste in food. Everything,, honestly, everything made here is natural and comes straight from the farm, veggies, meat, grains, etc. A lot different than the processed food we get from home, along with the fast food we are used to settling for. There isn't one fast food restaurant here in Kolomiya, no McD's, Burger King, Wendy's, Chinese food, nothing. Ono the way in to Kolomiya the kids witnessed this first hand, almost every single Nike household or property we drove by had some type of garden or farming system, either in the front or the back of the house. Open land was full of rows of planted crops. Not even on the 3 hour drive from the airport did I see a fast food restaurant.
This is a big change for most of the kids. But again, if they want to fully experience the culture, it would do them justice to eat healthy, not just for the experience, for their own health and nutrition. So we ate quickly and headed off to a sauna to get the flight out of us. Whoa, did we need that. I made it a point to explain to them that a sauna shouldn't be used with the mentality to cut weight. This was a "Sauna Session", where you mentality relaxed, let the heat overcome their bodies, swear and clear out some impurities they have. It felt so good.
We talked a little inside the sauna and asked them a rhetorical question, something to think about and write down. What is it each of them want to get out of this trip? When is all said and done, and we land on Monday evening in Newark, how do you want to feel? Although these are things I asked them, every athlete should do this. Set goals with target date. Goals that are realistic, attainable with a little hard work, goals an athlete can look back on and hold themselves accountable for and answer the question have I accomplished what I set out to do, if not, why?
As we enter our first training day, which is supposed to be a Par Terre sparring session, I told them, how they approach training mentally is going to determine what they get out of this trip. They know what to expect tomorrow, they know what has to be done individually to be successful tomorrow. Approach it as business. Each have their own individual goals, tomorrow is the start of hopefully, the new journey of five wrestlers.