Getting settled into the hotel is the first order of business.  The first night we eat at the hotel cafe under the atrium.  Cozy and comfortable dining with dim light from mini candles and soft music from the piano in the lobby.  The hotel room has two twin beds, just wide enough for me to lie down on my back and not fall off either side.  I am a back sleeper though so I don’t mind the narrow beds.  I call housekeeping and request two pillows and an extra comforter and shortly they arrive at my door. I have rearranged the room so that my roommate, who will arrive in several days, and I can each spread out comfortably in our half of the room.  I slide my bed next to the window so there is a wide open space in the middle of the room to use for my stretching and tai chi.
The next morning I grab a quick breakfast, then down to the medical room for massage.  Beth asks me where I am tight and what needs to most attention.  This is supposed to be a deep flush to get my body recovered from the plane trip. I know this is going to hurt, but I don’t mind. A deep tissue massage is supposed to hurt a bit…its the kind of pain that promotes deep breathing and forced release of muscle tightness.  It takes a couple of days to recover but it is well worth it.  I take a nap and get ready for practice at Lichterfeld Stadium, about 25 minutes away.  Carrie, our event manager, makes sure we have all what we need to get a good practice.  I need a few extra discus to throw as I only have the two discus that Carrie brought over in her luggage.  When she returns she has four discs borrowed from a volunteer that happened to have some in his trunk.  Wolfgang is a discus thrower competing in the masters division and he let me use his 1k discs. I think his discs might be a bit heavy because every time I throw them they land in the right side of the sector and my discus and on the left side.  They will work well for practice, especially since I am too lazy to keep walking out the field to retrieve my discus.  I call it laziness but I know it is just a matter of energy conservation…I save all of my energy to throw far.  Back at the hotel it is time for dinner and bed.  The only TV channels we get in english are CNN and BBC, so after I get the major world news I read Barbara’s paperback borrowed for the trip and fall asleep.  Not much excitement this first day but I have to get into a normal routine and wait for my day off to really explore the city.