TUESDAY, MARCH 5 | Back in the USA
So, I just got done shoveling the sidewalk in an attempt at making a long path with no exit. That way, I could watch my dog run up and down confusedly, searching for a way out. Not sure why that seems funny to me, but it does.
Before I went on this trip, I never imagined that upon my return I would be facing one of the biggest blizzards of the winter. I had hoped I would bypass the snow altogether. Either way, it feels good to be back.
My apologies for not writing much while overseas, but Wi-Fi was hard to come by, and I couldn’t ever get myself in the mood to blog anything. Looking back on it now, I am so fortunate to be able to travel to these places. I was a bit nervous going to Iran, but that feeling quickly changed upon arrival. The hotel we stayed at was extremely nice from the buffet of food offered at every meal to the spa area that featured both a wet/dry sauna, a cold/hot tub, pool, workout area and so much more. It definitely made making weight a little more enjoyable, although that’s pretty hard to do.
The Iranian people treated us like celebrities, chasing us from the arena to the bus every time we left. They were mostly interested in Jordan, but they never passed up a chance to just touch our shoulders or shake our hands. One guy, after my match, tried giving me a kiss on the cheek, which I politely declined. During the meet, it was crazy how loud they cheered. Some would bang on drums and others would blow horns all amongst orchestrated chants and cheers that could definitely weaken someone’s knees before a match. I originally thought they were all drunk, because during a four-hour break in which zero teams were competing, they screamed and cheered the entire time. We could hear their stomping from our locker room underground. I thought maybe they served beer or something there, but I was told Iran is a dry country. It was so much fun wrestling in front of that kind of crowd and atmosphere.
Afterwards on the podium, the Iranian president came by and shook all our hands. That was a cool experience for me since he probably doesn’t shake hands with too many Americans these days.
Belarus was by far the longest of the legs of the trip. In order to get on the internet you needed to buy Wi-Fi cards that would give you 60 minutes apiece. It wouldn’t have been that bad except that the first several days these cards were hard to come by. When we did find them, we would buy the house.
I wrestled great during the Medved tournament, giving up just one takedown and registering pins in both the quarters and semis. I dominated in the finals match, controlling just about every position and action, but unfortunately lost the first and third periods in clinch positions, 0-1, 7-0, 0-1. It was a bad way to lose, but I was very happy with how I wrestled throughout the tournament. I am learning a great deal with each tournament and trip, so I am very excited for the direction that this year is headed.
Thank you for the continued support and taking the time to read my blogs. I’ll do a better job with updates on my next trip.