I arrived in Gdansk, Poland, on Monday, just past lunchtime local. Snow had been falling heavily in central northern Europe, and so it was my first time to step in thick snow as I stepped out of the airport in Gdansk, with still some snow falling. Needless to say, it was cold! I think it was -6 degrees Celsius when I arrived, which was a big change for me coming from Manila where it was about 28 degrees Celsius when I left. I was picked up at the airport and driven straight to my hotel in Gdynia, where I tried to sleep to adjust to the time difference.
The next day it was straight to work. I got to know a little bit about the city care of one of the directors at our client office who picked me up (and sometimes dropped me off) everyday. One of the things I asked was where I could go to train, and luckily, there was a gym almost exactly a kilometer away. I visited it one evening and saw that it was okay, nothing fancy, but had all the basics. After work though it was a bit crowded. I asked in my very limited Polish how much it would cost me to use the facilities. Luckily, the receptionist that day could speak and understand some English, and was able to show me their prices. I resolved to start training the next week, in order for my body to acclimatize and get over the cold and cough that I had been feeling even before I arrived in Poland.
So today, I went to the gym after work. I wasn’t as cold as some of the previous nights, but snow had been falling the whole day so the long walk was all snowy and slushy the whole way. The gym was even more crowded than I anticipated, but I had time and there was no rush. The receptionist today didn’t speak any English, but I was still able to get my one-month membership. When they asked me for my name to put on the membership card, I gave my full first name (Ronaldo), and they lightened up. Seems like football is a big thing in Poland!
It looked like I was the only Asian there in the gym. There were lots of big men and fit women, just as I imagined a Polish gym would be! There was one lady who asked me in perfect English if I was working for big Reuters office in town. I said no, I wasn’t, but I was working on a project at the port. I tried to do one of my “push” workouts from the Power Training program I have been following, but as the gym was busy, I had to wait for equipment to be available, and I had to rearrange my exercises to take advantage of what was available. Thankfully, the locals were quite friendly and it was not too difficult for them to let me “work in” on some of the equipment.
As I am staying in a hotel, I can only eat what is available in the limited menu for dinner and breakfast. I just try to get as much protein as I can when I eat, and try to get some vegetables and fruit with my meals. Same goes for lunch at the company cafeteria, where the menu is in Polish. The food’s not bad at all, and I was able to sample a few Polish staples like pierogi and barszt (borscht), as well as the local beer and some warm wine (flavored with cinammon and cloves), perfect for the cold winter weather! As I have been “off” for the past week, I haven’t been watching what I eat too much (and I had sampled some very good apple pie!), but I’ll be backing off a bit on the dessert starting this week.
Tomorrow I plan to be back at the gym for my “pull” workout.