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© Airi Mikkela

The next 29 hours... with Airi Mikkela

© Airi Mikkela+

Hello! Me and my heavy bag just made it succesfully to the train station and jumped on a train. The final destination of this trip is Brazil and a place called Iguassu Falls.

I'm starting my season in a bit more exotic place which is located somewhere very far, three flights away from here. I just calculated that from door to door this trip is gonna take around 29 hours. But that's just fine since now I have time to relax, read, watch movies and just dream myself away.

It's been approximately two months since my last tournament and it feels like forever. I feel like I don't even remember what I'm supposed to do in a situation called 'a tournament'. However, I'm sure this forever of two months has been a good thing for my game as I've had lots of time to train hard and develop my skills. I'm hungry to compete again but on the other hand I'm also more nervous than usually. There are new things going on in my game and my mind, and I'm not 100% sure about everything quite yet. Luckily I've heard that attitude and enthusiasm can make up for

Talking about attitude and enthusiasm, this kind of training period without any tournaments can be mentally challenging. At least for me it is and I feel like I need to work a lot harder mentally. I always want to have a goal for what I'm doing and not just go and train something. I hate those training sessions that are quite nice and afterwards you feel like 'yeah this was a nice training, I'm sweaty and it was nice to run around'. I want to think, learn and develop every single time. During a long training period it's easy to forget how it feels like to play a tournament and play for winning. That's why it's important to push yourself a bit more mentally.

On top of everything I've been struggling with tiredness and haven't felt like my body is my best friend. Luckily everything seems to be working much better now and I hope I don't need to tell my coach anymore that 'yes, I promise I'm eating enough'. Someone might think now that it's not okay to say something like that, especially not to a girl, but for me it's totally fine that my coach tells me that he thinks that I should be faster, stronger - or then bigger or smaller.

Altough everything hasn't been super easy lately, I feel very happy now. I have done every single training and done it very well. My coach is quite demanding and it's sometimes tough but I know and I trust that he's right. Without all the focusing, pushing and thinking about the tactical stuff in every training I wouldn't have develop this much and I wouldn't feel so ready for the tournament. I've done all the hard work and I can go and enjoy, hopefully also win and succeed. I know I deserve it now and I can't wait for that feeling!

My first match in Brazil will probably be on Thursday, thanks to the small number of players. My first opponent is a Brazilian girl who I don't know, we will see what happens. I will keep you updated how it goes as good as I can. Now it's time to enjoy traveling! Keep your thumbs up for me to have short passport control queus, good movie selections on the flights and at least almost delicious airplane meals!

xxx
Airi

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via Airi Mikkela

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