The packing has began and its officially less than 24 hours until I make the trek to Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Now this isn't my first rodeo and typically my packing strategy involves a certain measure of the proverb... if you leave it till the last minute... it only takes a minute. However, Uzbekistan is a whole other beast and this is world championships! I have been scheming for a couple weeks now and making some short shopping trips to pick up what is needed.
Now the food scene there seems to be pretty good according to the reports from some of our team members who arrived early. Typical 'European" breakfast with hardboiled eggs, bread, and fresh vegetables. For anyone who knows me, a favourite travel companion is a childhood friend, Nutella. Now actually as a kid my parents didn't let me have too much Nutella but as an adult I do what I want! I will also be bringing a number of other "fav" items that I'm going to assume aren't sold in Uzbekistan such as some trail mix, chocolate coconut water, small almond milk juice boxes, San Pellegrino Grapefruit Sparking Water, Tea, and tuna. Everything that a high maintenance elite athlete could wish for. I have to be honest and am also bringing some candy to satisfy my sweet tooth! Luckily as far as sports nutrition goes, my needs are taken care of by my new sponsor GenEthix Nutrition. They make some of the best products in the business for athletes and are NSF certified. I will be taking some very handy pre and post exercise as well as some very tasty bars.
Of course as a heavyweight I discuss the food first... but truthfully, as long as I have my passport, singlet, and wrestling boots I know the rest is extra. I'm taking two sets of singlets (just in case I have any wardrobe malfunctions... we all saw that photo of Chris Spring's powerbelly at the Games)and I will be packing my boots and mouth guard tomorrow after our morning technique session before the flight. I'm packing 7 pairs of spandex, 7 t-shirts, 7 sports bras, and copious amounts of socks and undies! It'll be very hot in Tashkent and even in normal temperatures I sweat a lot.
Although Tashkent is around 95% Muslim, apparently the city centre where we are staying is fairly liberal and we should be okay wearing our typically Western-apparel. For me, that means tank tops and short shorts with the occasional summer dress thrown in for good measure.
In the toiletries department, the one thing I can't leave home without is my nasal rinse. Weird I know... It's a real necessity when travelling especially as long a journey as it will be. As far as hair and makeup go I'm pretty low maintenance and wrestling doesn't really allow us to glam it up!
For all those wondering, we are going Calgary - Toronto - Istanbul - Tashkent which is a pretty reasonable itinerary minus the 6 hour layover in Istanbul.
Alas, clearly by packing standards... I think I am ready!
I compete on September 11th at the 75kg class and stay tuned to my blog and twitter for more updates once I arrive.
Erica Wiebe is a Canadian freestyle wrestler and Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Calgary. Her passion for wrestling and writing combine in the words of this blog, sprinkled with a strong opinion on certain matters and a hint of feminist thrown in for good measure.