5:17am... CRAP!! Up yet again really early, this time I think it was because I was hungry, or at least that’s why I think I woke up. So I pulled myself up and out of bed to make some breakfast, a little Cereal and bread with PB. No toaster here, although it’s a really nice campus where we are staying, the kitchen is in need of a little help. After breakfast we relaxed a bit and played some ping pong in the lounge area, which consists of a PING PONG table, and some couches. The Olympic team actually has a lot of practice over the years in Ping Pong, mostly due to all the travelling to Japan. Every lounge at the different university dorms we have travelled to have had a Ping Pong table. After our intense games of ping pong we went to our rooms to rest a bit before the practice.
PRACTICE TIME... WOW I was not feeling this one today either! We did some drills and some randori(fighting) which I faired fine in, but I had no energy or will to go at 100%, the jet leg is still getting the best of me, as it should! After practice we had a team meeting which consisted of the coaching staff reminding everyone that it is normal to feel like crap, but to keep pushing ourselves and everything will be back to normal in the next couple of days.
Judo is definably one of the hardest sports to get ready for a big competition; we always have to travel overseas for all the major events like, World cups, and well any major tournament. The main reason I say it is so hard for athletes in Judo is because not only do we have to do what everyone else does from other sports, like get used to the time change, Mentally prepare etc. We also have to worry a lot more about what we eat, meaning sometimes, well most of the time we have to cut down to make the weight, which means we don’t normally eat very much 2-3days before the competition, which is draining both mentally and physically. Also we go to bed hungry and thirsty most nights before competitions. I always laugh when people from other sports said they had a bad night’s sleep the day before there event because the bed was too hard or to soft!! Well try going to bed with a dry mouth and no food in your stomach, which is normally due to the fact that you have lost 10 or more pounds. We also have to pay attention to how hard we train coming up to an event due to injuries, if you don’t get enough rest your body tends to break down, and that’s when injuries occur. Anyways back to my day.
After practice we went for our team lunch, and then rested for the afternoon, movie and internet. Around 5pm I had my 2nd work out of the day which consisted of - 6 x 400m Runs at 70%, and 4 x 100m Sprints. Afterwards we made dinner, some grilled cheese sandwiches for me. Oh yeah and today we also met our first friend!! Although we still haven’t figured out his name. Or gave him one I should say, our friend is some kind of weird looking Bug, who hangs out in the kitchen/lounge area – this bug is rather large with huge antennas. We have some videos footage of the bug hissing at us, which was rather entertaining but now, I think he was threatened by us, but no worries because we have settled our differences, and now he walks around the lounge area like he owns the place. As you can see we are finding ways to pass the time during our stay here in Japan. Other then meeting our new friend tonight was pretty basic, a little laundry, a movie and bed.