I choose a window seat and am now wide awake as I make my final decent into Oslo. My new home is extremely green and there are some very clear signs of significant elevation change, which is quite a change from the flatlands of the Midwest. Upon landing I gather my things and walk to collect my luggage. As I am walking through the airport I see four girls that could/should pass as models. They are tall, blonde and beautiful, which I kind of knew was going to be the case since Nords have not only a beautiful country but some very aesthetically pleasing creatures as well.
After gathering my two bags, I make my way to the exit to locate one of the team’s board members who is picking me up. This is always strange to me because I have no idea who I am looking for and feel like the kid at Culver’s walking around and looking for the person holding order tag number 67.
After standing around feeling like a lost puppy a very tall and handsome man (did I mention these people are attractive?) steps forward and introduces himself as Lars. Lars is about 6-foot-8 and is extremely friendly and speaks perfect English. I think I am going to really like my new home.
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Lars takes me to his car and I enjoy the 45-minute car ride through Oslo to my new home of Rykkinn. The sun is shinning and it is a beautiful day. The countryside is green with lots of hills and ridges covered in trees and there is nearly everywhere. After a really nice conversation and a trip to the grocery store, Lars brings me to my new apartment. It is a large room with a small bedroom — actually just a large closet with a door on it. It is heavily over furnished, but it has everything I could need including a functional kitchen and clothes dryer, which resulted in a huge Tiger fist-pump. Having a washing and drying unit anywhere in Europe is a huge luxury, since most people hang-dry their clothes.
A furnished apartment with a washer and dryer? What more could a guy want?
The best feature of my new apartment is the proximity to the gym that we practice in. The apartment is located in the same building as the gym so my commute to work/practice is a strenuous 30-second walk down the stairs and through the lobby if it is before 4 p.m. After 4 p.m. I have to walk down the stairs through the back entrance/exit outside and walk 45 seconds and 150 feet (30ish meters) to the lobby and into the gym. I have never lived so close to gym in my entire life and this new set up is pretty slick.
After getting the grand tour of my new digs, Lars leaves me and says that someone will pick me up for practice at 8:30 p.m. It is 2 p.m. and I have had little to no sleep but I have been through this before and I am determined to stay awake until after practice. I know if I succumb to anvils heavily hanging on my eyelids I will regret it for the next week because it will totally mess up my sleep schedule. I begin to unpack which I hope will keep me awake. I sit down on the bed and before I even realize it I am wearily setting my alarm and taking a nap. IDIOT!!!!!
I awake to my 15th alarm and scramble to pack my practice gear. I am in a foggy haze as I meet my ride outside, which is another member of our board name Knut. Mondays we move gyms so the commute is unfortunately a seven-minute car ride away.
I head to practice and it feels great to get a good workout in after a long day of traveling and completely throwing my mind and body for a loop. I enter back into my new home and it is 10:30 p.m. I make myself some food and try to find a way to fall asleep. This is a major struggle since I had taken a six-hour nap during the middle of the day and my circadian rhythm (sleep schedule) is still in Minneapolis. I lie in bed watching some movies and TV shows until about 4:30 a.m. when I am finally able to get some sleep. The whole time I am in my bed I am kicking myself for taking such a long nap. I should know better but what is done is done and I am now in the middle of a week-and-a-half long battle trying to right the ship that I messed up so poorly.
On my next blog I will cover my first impressions of my new teammates and how my first couple of days in Oslo have gone.