It has been 12 days since my last post but feels like ages.
My days have been so full, it would seem I am only finding time to write when on a plane or train to somewhere. I’ve been working on urgent assignments back to back, caught a cold and haven’t trained for 10 days in a row and before I know it, it’s time to leave. I think I need to slow down with the traveling and stay in a place for longer. I packed my bags (I’m improving significantly – it only took me 3 hours this time) and flying to Milan tomorrow morning. I will obviously finish this post on the plane, again.
I had initially planned to stay in Athens for Christmas, which would give me ample time to visit boxes and meet more people, but I changed my mind. It would seem Greece is definitely not my comfort zone anymore J Things are so different here. The meaning of community is quite different too – it is more of a community within each box, rather than a community of CrossFitters regardless of the box they train at. I got the impression it is kind of split. I first sensed this at the Greek Throwdown, but it became more evident and was confirmed to me by others too. It could be that CrossFit is still relatively new in Greece and people are not so familiar with the overall concept of the sport.
But I have to say that the few people I had the time to meet received me with open arms and minds. I visited CrossFit Piraeus and FitnessArt CrossFit and also met Charlie, the owner of CrossFit Gazi, what a fun guy, but unfortunately didn’t have the time to make the most out of his gymnastics tips!
CrossFit Piraeus is owned by two brothers, Dimitris and Nikos (the tall and not so tall J). Iakovos and Anna are also coaching there and seem to really love what they do! The place is located in a really ‘crossfitty’ area, among old factories, close to the Piraeus harbor and in front of a small football field. I was showed around and there is so much work being done to expand the box and add new features. I was lucky to train with them on two very sunny and warm days! The funny thing was everyone seemed to be avoiding the sun, doing their mobility in the shade etc. and I was the only one chasing the sun! I felt like a real tourist! I did the wod the Greek way, hehe, sipping my favorite iced coffee. Boy, I’ve missed having such amazing coffee only a phone call away! It was the perfect weather and the perfect coffee!
When I first started planning my visit to Greece, I only knew a handful of crossfitters in Greece, so I started sending friend requests to the first names that would pop-up on Facebook when entering the keywords ‘CrossFit Greece’. One of them was Dimitris Moros, who responded to my request and invited me to visit his box. So I did. It was on the other side of the town from where I was staying, but it was so worth to meet the whole team! Christina, Niki and Dimitris working and coaching at the box, but also Thrasos and Kostis who just hung out with us to chat after their workout.
Unfortunately, I got stuck at home with a cold and a lot of translation work and didn’t get to visit them for a second time – note to self: never postpone for tomorrow what you can do today! Dimitris is not only the owner of the box, he is inspiring. People were talking about him and their faces lit up. He coaches, sets the rules and educates the people in the box (and from what I was told on TV as well). He told me he had wanted to be a ‘boxtrotter’ himself some years ago, fly around the world and visit boxes. Didn’t happen then, but… it’s never too late, Dimitri! J
Oh, and Niki and Christina.. what can I say? You meet a girl, say ‘hello’ and feel like you’ve known her since high-school! We laughed and chatted for about an hour and I felt sorry I had to leave!
So, as expected Part II is being written sitting on seat 6C on the plane to Milan…
I am glad I spent some time with my family, was there to celebrate my mom’s birthday, but also traveled to Kalamata to stay a few days with my best friend, her daughter (my godchild, Thalia) and her whole family.
My best friend. I could write a book about her. A book about our lives together and how they intertwined over the years. About how much I love her and how important she is to me. A book about the ways she has supported me on every step of my way, about how she can be my biggest critic without ever being judgmental, how she’s pushed me when I was stale, the times she patiently and silently watched me cry saying nothing. She knows. She always seems to know. A person simple and beautiful. She’s reading this and crying – I’m writing this and have tears in my eyes too. Oh, I’m so writing a whole post about you, misses! Soon 🙂
Kalamata is a place linked to happy memories. It’s where I spent some of my best summers, walking along the beach, a tiramisu ice-cream at hand, laughing and being carefree. It is always nice to be there; always nice to come back. I walked along the same beach and biked around familiar places. I even dared swim in the sea on the 25th of November! I guess I am now officially considered a winter-swimmer for the Greek standards, hehe!
Of course I checked to see if there’s a CrossFit box in Kalamata but it would seem it is still not ‘infected’! In a way this was a blessing too. Gave my body the opportunity to fully recover and my mind the chance to reevaluate things. Back to the basic and simple things. Run, bike, walk, swim.
Now I am ready to get sore as hell again, lift some heavy weights and set new goals.
My short-term plan is to join Sasha and her family for a few days in Milan, train and connect with the CrossFit Darsena community and then head to Como for a competition weekend watching the ‘Fall Series’. I wanted to judge, but it was already too late to join the judges’ team, but Sasha and her husband have been so helpful, bringing me in contact with the owner of CrossFit Lugano, who’s going to add me to his Media team giving me the access to the best seats and making me feel like a real reporter! You should expect a flow of updates and posts on my Instagram and FB page, so CONNECT!
Still have no clue as to what I will do after the 6th, but hey, that’s a full 4 days ahead! Who knows what life brings J