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The Performance Life

Recovering From My Road Trip

over_kind_man / flickr

Our trip to South America has come to an end. The last days in Rio de Janeiro were beautiful—the Copa Cabana, Ipanema Beach, and the Christ the Redeemer statue were some of the most impressive things I have ever seen.

We played two more games, lost both of them and ended the trip with a 1-3 record. Although I consider myself extremely competitive and absolutely hate to lose, I must say that the teams we played deserved to win and it was an honor to share the field with them for 90 minutes. They were not only great soccer players, they were great people.

We tried to communicate as best as possible, but the language of soccer repeatedly broke the language barrier. After our last match of the trip against a U20 team of a Brazilian soccer academy, one of their players came to our locker room looking for me. He presented me with a new pair of flip-flops with the Brazilian flag on it, telling me he liked the way I played. I had just come out of the shower, and was caught off guard so much that I could barely mumble the Portuguese word for “thank you”, and before I could think of something else to say, he was out the door and never to be seen again. I have a feeling that whenever I am going to wear them, I will think of this moment, easily one of the most memorable ones on this trip.

After the game we did some more sight-seeing and boarded the plane back home the same night. Already exhausted from the match in 95-degree heat and an otherwise very long day, I had more than 24 hours of traveling ahead of me: From Rio to Atlanta, where we had to clear immigration and customs; from Atlanta to Philadelphia, where I had to say goodbye to my teammates and re-check my luggage; from Philadelphia to Chicago, and then to my final destination Tucson.

I'm glad that I sleep easily on planes, otherwise this could have ended horribly. But I probably got more sleep that night than the nights before and made sure to follow some of the travel tips found on CorePerformance.com:

  • Drink plenty of water to fight the dehydration
  • Walk around in between flights to keep the blood flowing through my body
  • Buy plenty of healthy snacks to keep my body fueled consistently.

When I got off the last plane, finally arriving in Tucson, I was in dire need of a shower, but actually felt more relaxed than when I had boarded the first plane in Rio. Still, I was happy to have a few days off before preseason and its grueling two-a-days, hoping to not only find some time to recover physically, but also to reflect on the experiences I had just made in South America.

Tags: Outdoor Recreation, Leisure Time, Soccer, Travel, College