First two months of living in China
As an athlete we often faced with tough decisions in our sport, another decision I made was to take a year off uni and pack my bags and move to the other side of the world on my own in order to get some of the best practice possible . Studying and continuing to play sport at a high level is one if the hardest things I have had to do. I wasn’t able to give 100% of my attention in either so as a big year is approaching the Commonwealth Games Australia 2018 and still waiting for a decision to be made, I decided to take a risk and go full-time and move to china.
The experience has been surreal and a real eye opener. I have been lucky enough to come here before in 2015 for the world championship but to now be living here is quite amazing. I wouldn’t know how to compare anything to UK as everything is so different. The people here are so lovely and welcoming and even though I get a lot of people staring at me and asking for pictures as I am clearly foreign everyone is lovely.
The practice is amazing, training twice a day apart from Thursday and Saturday is just once but also have gym sessions and Sundays a rest day. I practice with the men’s team. Had a rather daunting experience when I first joined them as walked through the changing room and into the hall where I didn’t know anyone at all and there in front stood 37 boys and men staring as they clearly weren’t expecting a female foreign player to be joining them, but the team has been so good to me and helping me a lot with my game.
I have ventured out into the city, trying my best with the language and eat out quite a lot now and becoming a pro at using chopsticks so I don’t need to carry my own cutlery around with me. Chinese food here is very different to back home, it’s unbelievably good and taste a lot different and have such a wide variety. I have had hotpot (pigs belly, tongue, chickens feet and some other dishes which I have no idea what they were), had BBQ on a bus where the main dish was ducks tongue, turtle and tofu and also spring pancakes which are so good here. Most the time I have no idea what I am eating or drinking (milk tea, everyone needs to drink this!) but have yet to find anything I don’t like.
So for now will continue with my practice and enjoy my time here whilst I have the chance to experience it!