Thrower Ethan Dennis will share his experiences throughout the summer as he travels and trains in different countries across western Europe.
Entry 4: Wednesday, Sept. 12
I'm writing this last blog as a wrap up to my summer. I left off last when I was still in Paris. After a few weeks training there, I headed for some down time to get relaxed and focused for the real world. I spent some time in the French Riviera before heading into Spain for a while. I went to some amazing beach towns there and enjoyed myself a lot. This summer was amazing, not only from training with some of the best in the sport but experiencing so many new cultures.
I am now back in Ann Arbor and have completed the first week of classes. After being gone for so long, it feels amazing to be back here and get back with old friends. This past Monday was the first day of our conditioning portion of our season and we set off our 2013 season with a good first day. Now we'll move into a long few months of preparing until we start our competitions in January. I'm really looking forward to taking all that I learned this summer into what I hope to be a very successful season. It was definitely an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life, but for now I am focused on school and training hard. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you at the track this upcoming season.
Entry 3: Friday, Aug. 10
I've been quite busy the past couple of weeks over here. I left Germany and arrived in Paris last week. I've been able to see so many amazing things during the past week that it's hard to know where to start. I did most of the touristy things of the city, including the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
I also ate some pretty amazing/bizarre foods. I enjoyed eating some snails for an appetizer, ate some incredible crepes, and had some frog legs for one of my meals. It's a little bit different here to say the least. I was able to get to the Chateau de Versailles last week as well; it really gives meaning to the phrase 'fit for a King.'
|At the Louvre
||Normandy American Cemetery
This past weekend I decided to hop on a train to Normandy for the weekend. I stayed in a very rural French town and was able to visit the Normandy American Cemetery. Words cannot accurately express how overwhelming the entire experience was. It was raining pretty steadily when I was there so I was pretty much alone walking amongst the 9,000 graves of some of the bravest men our great country has ever known.
I then walked to Omaha Beach, which was the main attack point for the invasion. It was very weird to see and be able to walk through all of the German bunkers that were used to defend the beach. The entire experience I had there is something that I will never forget.
From here, I am heading back into Paris for another week of training before I head out to see a few more cities and wrap up my trip.
Until next time,
Entry #2: Thursday, July 26
This past week was my last week training in Leichlingen, Germany. Overall it was a really good experience and I learned a lot from the coach and athletes there. It is always interesting to learn new ways to think about training and I'm deciding if it would be beneficial to incorporate some aspects into my own training. This next week I will be training in Leverkusen, Germany, which is another small town right outside of Cologne. It is going to be a really good training group and with facilities, so I am excited. The weather in Germany has been quite different than the weather in the U.S., however. It has been in the low 60s every day and it rains off and on most of the time -- not very pleasant.
I have been able to take in a lot of new culture, as well as the training while I have been here. I have been to a bunch of really cool museums and exhibits all over. There's a modern art museum in Cologne I went to last week that had a very bizarre exhibit on the 1060s -- it was a little bit too abstract for me. This past weekend I made a quick trip to Amsterdam and was able to see some very interesting museums there as well. I saw the Anne Frank house where she was in hiding and a very cool Van Gogh museum as well. This will be my last week in Germany before I head out to France afterwards.
|With coach in Germany||In Amsterdam|
Entry #1: Sunday, July 15
So I decided to spend the summer in Europe training in different cities with different groups. I started out training in Zurich, Switzerland, for a couple of weeks and traveled around from there to see a few different cities. I have seen some pretty amazing stuff and have met loads of really cool people. I am now staying in Cologne, Germany, and I am training in a small town called Leichlingen that is about an hour away by train to get to from where I am. It's a little difficult with this group because the coach does not speak English, so it's a lot of hand gestures to get through practice.
Today I competed in a small competition at the facility where I train. The distance for the hammer wasn't too great because of a lot of factors -- rain, changing technique and not being in peak condition -- but it was still a lot of fun to hang out with different throwers for a while. I met a former German Olympian today, Claus Dethloff. He was a very friendly guy and it was cool talking to him.
I set new PRs in the weight throw and stone put today. The weight throw that they use, however, is different than the one in the U.S. It is a little bit lighter and longer, so I threw it 23.80 meters, which I think is pretty good for the first time with it. The stone put is a 15kg brick that is a mixture of javelin and shot put. It was pretty fun to throw. I got in a pretty good back-and-forth competition with a German thrower my age. He ended up besting me with a 'whopping' throw of 8.79 meters to my 8.40 meters. It was all fun and games though. Either way, I'll keep checking in with you guys every now and then.