Friday, 2 January 2009

More notes and pictures............

Room 118 at the Grand Hyatt Amman was to be my new home for the next seven days and every day was filled with agonising choices; from the start I had the unenviable task of deciding which nice fluffy and comfortable double bed I was to sleep in each night and if that was bad enough, I was faced each morning with a choice of luxurious hot and steamy power shower, or a nice relaxing bath - a reporters life is a true test of a man's mettle!

Upon alighting from the lift to the lobby to take breakfast, choices are once again the name of the game as you enter the restaurant. Cereal or muesli? Orange or apple juice and then things go from bad to worse - fresh salmon fillets, smoked or unsmoked?

I never knew how draining a 5* star hotel would be and I'd not even finished my breakfast proper when I had my own chef asking me for fried or scrambled eggs to go with my sausages and bacon and everything else. Judith Chalmers has conveneintly failed to mention the choices one faces in these establishments, any wonder she looks like she does with such choices on offer?

Breakfast completed, it was back to my room to have a lie down and recoup some energy after all the choices faced - or so I thought. Tucked away on the first floor was a state of the art gymansium together with massage room, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and swimming pool, all of which was on offer for a worn out reporter and again, back to choices which to use first??

With all these distractions on offer, I was wondering if I would able to muster up any energy to actually go and train and report on the event at the weekend, so I decided to test all the facilities and see how I felt afterwards and suprisingly enough I found enough energy to continue the day up to dinner time, where I headed back downstairs to, yes you guessed, more choices!

And so this cycle of events carried on throughout the afternoon and into the evening and after training and onto bedtime, where like something out of Groundhog Day, all the choices came back to me the next day and the day after that, yet somehow I managed to get through the days as best I could, mustering up some of the Great British Reserve and the old phrase 'When in Rome' also came in to help me in my week of need.

As you know, I was invited out at the behest of Zaid Mirza, a Cassio Werneck black belt and founder and Secretary of the BJJ Federation of Jordan, to cover the Capital Challenge International, a 2 day BJJ fest with the highest allocated prize money for a BJJ event to date.

Zaid's generosity was unlimited and after a day of relaxing it was time to head to the training academy and do some training. Black belts Tiago Alves and Adriano Silva were at the club and gracefully took the class through a few moves from the half guard position before rounding the night off with some rolling and after the first night at the club, I had made two new friends in Tiago and Adriano.

Team photos out of the way, I spent another hour or so rolling with black belts and getting my ass kicked big time and hanging out matside with Zaid and Carlos Santos head coach of the Emirates BJJ Team and President of the IPJJF. Watching black belts roll is a great way to spend an evening if your that way inclined, where you can see just what is needed at this belt level, always inspiring me to train harder and practice even more.

Training over with, we headed back to the hotel, where more Brazilian fighters were arriving for the weekends event and themselves enjoying the hotel's facilities and restaurants. Evening meal was a repeat of breakfast and dinner and after much agonising, fresh lobster was the meal of the night, no takeways this week,a week of healthy eating lay ahead and clean living for once, no beer for a whole week - sacrifices have to be made!

Soon enough it was time to head back to Room 118 and grapple with the power shower in my bathroom, by far the most powerful shower unit I have ever used, a good job I wasn't sunburned, you could have used the shower for shotblasting! First time I turned it on, I was nearly thrown into the bath, man this was a Bob Sapp in the shower world, a Lou Ferrigno in power showers that commanded the utmost respect when being used, one wrong move and you were toast!

So, after a choice filled day, swimming and jacuzzis, training and power showers all that remained was to decide which bed to jump into and switch on the telly to find a decent film before turning in for the night. Getting a good night's sleep was essential for the following days that lay ahead, to muster the energy needed to make really big choices through out the day in the hotel and leave enough energy to train.

Night night!!

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