Ciao! Time is once again flying! The training camp with Natalie Rooney is now done! Her training camp as a trap shooter is a lot different to what mine would have been as an Olympic weightlifter. We spent all morning at the shooting club (where I am still learning a fair amount) and then the afternoons at the gym, shopping or eating gelato – as I’ve said before, life is all about balance and I feel as if we mastered it.
Manoppello is two hours east of Rome and a cute little town full of sunshine. The locals drive as they please, and don’t get me started on the parking! Luckily, Natalie has mastered the art of driving a manual on the opposite side of the road in a country which has minimal road rules and use their indicators maybe once a month. Still, I love it there and the people within the shooting community were so nice and welcoming.
Towards the end of the training camp we spent a weekend in Todi, where Natalie and her coach competed, as well as a few others from the shooting club we were based at. Everyone did well, however Coach Andrea was the only one to make it to the final. We were also invited to an official dinner held by Fiocchi (ammunition manufacturer), where some of the shooters were recognised and received wine and certificates. It was an amazing meal, but I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of plates of food and how delicious it was! Of course there was cake too – imagine a custard slice the size of a base layer of a wedding cake!
I was also very lucky to spend my birthday in Italy! I treated myself to some charms for my Pandora bracelet and had pancakes for breakfast, before heading to the shooting club and then the gym. The Italians and Natalie took me out to a dinner where we had to choose our meat out of a cabinet before they cut it and cooked it. I was even brave and tried some rabbit which the coach was enjoying. Honestly the food is so good in Italy! I’m going to miss it.
Oh wait, I had birthday cake too! Similar to the one at the formal dinner, except it had a New Zealand flag on it. A lovely man named Tony made it for me – he owns the local bakery and was always looking after us with treats.
Many of you might be wondering what the build-up was for? Well, as I write this I’m in South Korea (Changwon) and have just finished warming Natalie up for her only shooting session for the day. Competition for her starts on Wednesday.
Hopefully the weather clears up a little, so far there has been a lot of rain! And the humidity!
But I’m loving the experience and the fact that I’m helping a fellow athlete.