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Val’s South Korea Trip – Getting Closer!

As it gets closer to the day I leave for South Korea, I’m getting more and more excited about this trip.

My son’s taken care of. We have day care and very generous friends lined up to help with him so that my husband can still work while I’m gone! I’m (sort-of) mentally prepared to leave him for 12 days, although I’ve been told that days 3 & 4 are going to be the hardest for me, and then I’ll get into a groove.

This FACE though!


Mama’s Sweet Boy


I digress….

So I’ve been asked how I prepare for a trip like this and I wanted to write a little about what I’ve been doing.


Number 1: I want all of my skills to be as close to perfect as they can be.

As one of my students, you know that there’s ALWAYS something to work on, but I want my cleans to be clean, my snatches to be smooth, my clean and jerks to be strong and crisp.

Every time I’ve assisted or led a team, I go in wanting to be my very best. So for the weeks ahead of the certification, I make sure I’m doing what I’m asking my students to do.

It’s a little about me and wanting to do well, but it’s also about wanting to represent this StrongFirst organization the best I can. I have a job and I take it very seriously and I want to do it well.

Number 2: I want to make sure I know the manual like the back of my hand.

And so I’ve been reading, re-reading, and highlighting every chance I get. I still haven’t gotten my teaching assignments so I don’t know what skills I’ll be teaching at the Level 1 or the Level 2, but I know I need to be prepared to teach it all.

A couple months ago, I would have had a panic attack just thinking about not knowing going into the weekend, but I’m trying to take it in stride. I’m sure Jon Engum will give me my assignments before I leave the states, and at least I’ll have a 16-hour plane ride to prepare….


Weekend Reading & Preparation

Update! Since I wrote this post, I have gotten my assignments! I’m teaching the Clean & Snatch at Level 1, reviewing the Squat & Snatch and teaching the Windmill at Level 2. I’m also leading a couple of training sessions. Now that I have my assignments, I’m even MORE excited! (I didn’t think that was possible)

Number 3: Get all the logistics figured out!

It’s been a while since I’ve been overseas and so I have a little checklist:

Passport: Had to change my name because I haven’t traveled overseas since I got married (side note: make plans to travel overseas with hubby)

Tums/Ammodium: Because I’m really excited to try ALL of the food over there and Dr. Mark Cheng told me to get some (because it’s ‘different’ than our food)

Money: Find out which credit card doesn’t charge the international transaction fee. Already found out a couple of my cards won’t even work in South Korea because it’s one of those high alert countries with lots of fraud. Must call the other card companies.

Cell Phone Usage: called AT&T to find out how to NOT have a zillion dollar bill when I get home. I know I’ll have wifi in my hotel and I need to be on FaceTime with the fam at least once a day. Trying to figure out the best plan of attack. Any hints/suggestions from seasoned travelers are greatly appreciated.

International Charger Converter thingy: I think I have one but have to make sure it works in South Korea.

All the other essentials, like StrongFirst gear (just ordered some more), black & khaki pants, clothes for the days of exploring Seoul, and CAMERA to take lots of pics of my big adventure.


Thank you

A big thanks to all of you for going along with me on this journey. It’s going to be so much fun and I can’t imagine it being possible without all of your love and support. Teaching every day at NBKB brings me so much joy and I love that I’m able to take the time to be away, experience another culture, experience another kettlebell culture, and bring some of that energy back to you all!

Gabby, Sharon, Gina, & Amy – You all ROCK! Thank you for helping out covering my classes while I’m gone!

I’ll blog and Facebook and Instagram from over there so keep watching those feeds!


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