Travel Diary #1 – Back on the international scene

Week 8 & 9 
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Welcome to the very first part of the Travel Diary. The idea is new and it's going to be exciting. The content will always be unique as I'm going to travel all around the world. Every country, every city, every hall, every match, every opponent…all are going to be different, but they all have one thing in common: the same goal which leads towards the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
The Travel Diary will be the sum-up of my tournaments, it will evaluate my performance, offer new experiences on and off the badminton court, bring new stories, emotions, highlights, photos, videos and much more.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch
Last two weeks, or to be accurate it was only 12 days, were hectic. Just looking at these numbers below makes me think:
how the hell did I manage all of that?”
- 6 countries in 48 hours (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia)
- 6 “and a half” cities (Vienna, Værløse, Katowice, Klimkovice, Bratislava, Trenčín, Frankfurt – only the airport, counts as a half)
- 5 flights
- 5 different places to stay overnight (2 Airbnb apartments, house in Copenhagen, hotel in Poland, a big room in the hall in Trenčín)
- 2 international tournaments (Austrian Open 2019, Slovak Open 2019)
- 2 league matches (Denmark, Czech Republic)
- 1 short two-day training camp (Slovakia)
- 1 problem in the end of everything ...
The answer is: Yes, I did manage that because I planned every single day and night properly. I prepared myself mentally early enough before the trip and I knew exactly when and where to be every day, every hour, and almost every minute. And I constantly kept the most important thought in my mind – focus on the present moment and don't worry about tomorrow.
Of course, I got tired at some point, but I tried to stay positive all the time, make smart decisions and just enjoy everything. I followed my daily routines, got enough sleep, ate the right food and stayed focused…

Austrian Open 2019

A strong international challenge tournament held in Vienna was my first of this year. Being familiar with the conditions in the hall was an advantage that I had as I played there few times before. The draw was not the best not the worst and I was well prepared to face Irina Andersen from Denmark. It was a tough match…and even though I didn't make it to the second round that day I took many positives from the game. It was a “test” to see what my game looks like after a longer training period. I felt comfortable and was able to use some of the new things I’ve been working on recently. All in all, happy with my level but unhappy that I didn't use the game point in the first set.
The “free” time in Vienna was spent effectively and enjoyably. I shared the apartment with my friend Airi, a player from Finland. It's important to have a “good time” during the tournament in order to perform well. And we definitely had a great time. We organized a pretty hard early morning training the day after our matches, watched movies in the evenings, cooked a nice coconut-chicken-rice noodles dinner after 5 min struggle of not being able to turn on the cooker and we enjoyed some new peanut butter raw protein bars.

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The weekend of league matches (Denmark and Czech Republic)

“Starting on Friday evening from Vienna to Copenhagen to play a team match on Saturday with Aabenraa where we achieved an important 9:4 victory against Værløse which secures our position in the second division and which most likely gives us a chance to get a qualification match to go higher! 🔝 Afterwards, rushing through the airport security again ✈️, flying via Frankfurt to Katowice and checking in at the hotel at midnight to get at least 7h of sleep 😴🛌 Sunday morning, driving 🚙 to Czech Republic for another league match with Brno Slatina. After a nice 6:2 victory against Klimkovice we are now the fourth best ranked team in the country!
All in all, a successful weekend for me and for both of my clubs. Feeling happy that I managed to win all of my matches.”
(Facebook post, Sunday 24th of February)

Two-day training camp

After the crazy weekend it was time to stop for a little while. That little while was a half day off, to give my body some recovery and rest after travelling. I jumped back on court on Monday afternoon. Together with other 3 girls and Maroš, the coach, we organized two very decent trainings. We worked hard, we kept the focus and high tempo all the time. It's important to practice as well when playing several tournaments in a row in order to maintain the level and stay in a good shape. And this was a success!
While staying in Bratislava, I also found some time to visit my sponsor Yonex and meet my friend which I haven't seen for years! It was so cozy to just sit down, talk and catch up while eating a very tasty Asian dinner. So so thankful for these special moments!

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Slovak Open 2019

Everything was perfectly ready before the start of future series tournament in Trenčín. I tried the main hall, got used to the conditions, shuttles, set up, etc. The environment was kind of natural for me as I played there like hundreds of times before, so the confidence was on point.
Being on court at home soil in front of the Slovak crowd was amazing! Played a lot of good matches in all three categories and made it into the quarterfinals in singles and mixed doubles. The overall evaluation is positive, and I am happy with my performance that I showed out there. The Friday was the day I will never forget about. 4 tough matches and left absolutely everything on court. Especially, the last match, unusually 75 min long singles against the opponent from Ukraine was one of my best and hardest ones I've played so far. Endless rallies, catching breath and seeing stars…it was a huge fight. The feeling after the last point was awful. I literally made two steps out of the court and crashed down on the floor, shaking and crying and could not stop it. It kind of felt like a shock. I have never felt like that before, emotions were deep, but I know I did a good job and pushed myself far beyond my limits. Even though I wasn't standing on the winning side, I've gained a great experience…and the best sushi for a dinner from our national coach. 😍Muscles were sore, mind was tired. Recovery took nearly three days.
All in all, life in Trenčín was awesome! I got to see my family and had a good time with friends and fans. Thank you!

When everything was over and all my roomies have left, I spent a relaxing Saturday, pretty much all by myself. I was literally done, my mind was empty, no energy left, just wanted to watch Netflix and chill. The only task to do was to pack my suitcase in the evening and get ready for the Sunday trip back to Denmark. Sounds easy until I went for the last dinner with my dad who was supposed to drive me to the airport the next morning. Everything was cool until he asked, “so what time is your flight?”.So, I started to scroll down through my emails, trying to find my flight ticket and then I realized that I didn't have it! Or well, the funny thing is that I had it, but instead of Sunday March 3rd, I booked it for Sunday February 3rd, one month earlier. So, it was expired, and I had to quickly buy a new ticket. I was lucky that RyanAir still had some free seats on the flight I was planning to board. Now it's just a funny story but at that moment my heart rate must have rapidly jumped over 180 after such a quiet day.  

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