This weekend I took a 2 day trip to Rijeka, Croatia for a judo Grand Prix, as a means to help qualify for the 2016 Olympic Team. The experience had both positives and negatives (like almost anything in life), and I figured I'd give a little recap of what happened.
On Wednesday I was sitting patiently at the Albany airport, waiting to board my first flight to Newark. Due to an odd climate change, severe thunderstorms and lightening were plaguing the capital region. My attempts at remaining optimistic proved futile as my flight was cancelled due to poor weather conditions. No big deal right? I headed home and got to spend one more night in my own bed. The next morning (Thursday) I headed back to the airport and was off to Croatia with no problem. The only thing hanging over my head was the concern of my arrival time. This was an issue because I had to make the official weigh ins in Croatia by 7 pm on Friday. I landed in Croatia at 11:30 AM on Friday thinking I'm good to go. This bubble was abruptly burst because the shuttle picking me up informed me that we couldn't leave until 2 pm because we had to wait for the arrival of other athletes…Start worrying. THEN, I received and email from my team mates Hannah Martin & Brad Bolen informing me that the hotel the weigh ins were at was a 2 hour drive from the airport…Start panicking. Had there been a traffic jam, a flat tire, an accident, a cow in the road I wouldn't have made weigh ins in time and would've been forced to withdraw from the competition. Fortunately my weight was already down and I made it to the hotel just in time to make weigh ins.
Overall I placed 7th at the Grand Prix. In my repechage final I injured my right shoulder (the same one that I injured in 2011 at the Paris, Grand Slam). I did the best I could against my opponent from Slovenia for about a minute with one arm before loosing. My efforts on the day moved me higher on the world ranking list but I couldn't stop thinking about my shoulder. When the injury occurred, my arm went numb and was nearly immobile. After the competition my team mate Hannah Martin & I made a vine video about the day that can be viewed here.
At this point all I wanted to do was to get home. Keeping the theme of "a series of unfortunate events" on this trip going, our plane needed to make an emergency medical landing in Saint Jonhs for an elderly gentleman. I hope he is ok and am praying for him and his family. All in all it was planes, trains, & automobiles for the weekend.
I am happy to be home safe. My shoulder feels a bit better than on Saturday which is a good sign. Next up for me I'll be shifting into "band mode" with my band Hard Soul. We will be putting out videos, recording new songs for a new album, and booking gigs for the fall. Also, please donate to my campaign to fund a fall judo tour here. There's still 45 days left and tons of perks and merch left! Also please like my athlete page here, and follow me on twitter @nkossor.