We arrived into Skopje (pronounced skoh-pee-ah) today to the Alexander the Great International Airport. It was not nearly as big as Medford, had one gate, 2 baggage carousels, so I'm not sure its namesake would be proud.

Anyway, it is very nice here, we are staying at a bed and breakfast type hotel, it has been open for exactly 10 days, so it is very nice, has about 30 rooms. My camera hasn't been working but hopefully I'll be able to get some pics up, it is very green and humid here, but not too hot, so it is very nice.

We trained today, I basically just went live with Haislan Garcia, our 66 kg guy for about 30-45 minutes straight. We are both pretty competitive and evenly matched, he is almost as big as me, so it was a good workout, which I needed. I've been trying to eat as much as possible, but I still seem to be light. I'm sure most people are envious to have my problem, but I'm just saying...

We trained at a local club run by a guy whose name I shouldn't forget, he was an Olympic Champ for Macedonia in 1984 in L.A. He runs a kids club and there were about 20 kids age 8-12 and before practice I challenged them to a match. I was kicking their butts until the littlest guy hit the best sweep single (I think he was lower to the ground so it was easier for him) and I let him get a takedown. It was only a couple minutes but it was fun and they really did have pretty good technique.

Anyway, what are these comments about me not training? My brother thinks he can take me or something? haha. I have been working out quite a bit over the last year, so making the jump into competition didn't take much. Actually I know the mental break was good for me because I am more relaxed in my wrestling and don't feel like I am forcing things as much, in other words I'm trying to rely on technique more than just muscling or out-conditioning my opponent. Eventually you want to do everything, but I think it is more of a Russian mentality, and they are the best in the world. We'll see, as there are supposed to be some very good teams here this weekend, Macedonia, Russia, Bulgaria (the Olympic bronze medalist), Albania, and a few others I can't remember.

OK, things are well, I'm excited to compete again, so hope to have some fun! Thanks for all the posts. They are great to read.

PS. Shout out to my brothers (20) and Carl's(18?) birthday which was May 29, I didn't have internet access then...

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