|Up in the podium after the 800 meters in Belem, Brazil|
Home sweet home! I am currently in the air starting my long journey home to the US. Brazil turned out to be a total success...winning both of my meets over here and winning a pretty decent purse as well :) That was exactly what I needed this early in the season to give me a little boost of confidence heading into the next few months. I had a lovely time here and got to meet so many different types of people. I even got to meet some very smelly sailors that hadn’t been home in over two years...just sailing around the world with really no destination but wherever they ended up. And boy, did these people have some stories and cool pictures to share! The people of Brazil were so kind to me and told me I was beautiful everyday. I mean, how could you not love them after hearing it over and over again? They even posted a picture of me in their newspaper.
|Newspaper in Fortaleza, Brazil|
It was nice having a week of feeling like a total babe, but now back to the real world where having blonde highlights and blue eyes is nothing to write home about. :) The food in Brazil, on the other hand, is something to write home about. I must have gained at least 5 pounds this week. Brazil is famous for their yummy beef, and is served at every meal, even breakfast. So my iron intake levels are definitely off the charts now; not a bad thing I guess. Rice and beans are the other two items absolutely necessary in a Brazilian meal. Being by the amazon river, they served delicious amazon fish and amazon fruits. I consumed more mango in the last week than I have in my entire life. The English speaking cooks told me that mango is the most consumed fruit in the entire world, and that the homeless people that you see all up and down the streets of Brazil live off of the mango’s that fall from the trees. Besides the large amounts of mango that I consumed, Brazilian coffee really got the best of me. Myself and a few other Americans researched for days on the place in Belem to get the best coffee/espresso. We landed upon a place called Cafe Do Ponto.
|Brianna and I enjoying a cappuccino at Cafe Do Ponto.|
It really tasted like heaven, and I bought some to bring home to my parents and Jen for them to try. Their other traditional drink was called guanana. It tasted like a mixture of cream soda and some fruitiness that was unbelievable, and it was served everywhere- at the hotel, on the planes, at the track meets, in the vendors.
Last summer in the Europe, I was thrown into a whirlwind of traveling in a track and field circuit where I knew no one and didn’t have any friends. It was difficult for me to imagine my life changing so drastically and to attempt to keep up with the others that were experiencing “the circuit.” I learned since then that every athlete that I met had the same uncomfortable feeling about the people, places, foods, and hotels. I learned that unless each person decided to accept things “just the way they are” and to humor the situations that made us uncomfortable, it was going to be a miserable time. I have learned that 99% of the people in the professional track and field world are wonderful people with the same awkward stories, lifestyles, goals, and personality as me. I am still a rookie in this sport and I know I have a whole lot of growing to do as an athlete, but it is so refreshing to know that others know EXACTLY what to tell you when you need advice because they themselves went through the same thing a few years back. And the best part is, you know the advice given is legitimate. I’m learning from National Champions, Olympians, and World Champions. I feel lucky to be starting my journey learning from these people.
The next few weeks I am taking a break from racing to do some very excruciating work outs to build my strength to prepare for my season ahead. I am heading home to see my family this week and I cannot wait to lay on the couch and relax. I can’t wait to go on walks around Worthington and rent movie's with them. I also get to catch up with some Worthington friends that I never get to see. My best friend in the world, Caitlin, is having her bachelorette party in Nashville, Tennessee next weekend and it is going to be a blast! It will be my time to let my guard down and relax just a little :)