Taking Flight: JGP Japan Blog #1

14JGPJPN-EllieAlex-1U.S. ice dancers Elliana Pogrebinsky & Alex Benoit are sharing their Junior Grand Prix experience in Aichi, Japan with the ice-dance.com readers. 

This is Ellie Pogrebinsky and Alex Benoit sharing our experiences from our first JGP event together.  We’ve decided to blog as a team, but in doing so, we’ve discovered an issue that needs to be addressed from the start.  To prevent the IDC readers from becoming confused, we will refer to ourselves as “we” or “Ellie” or “Alex.”  We know that all of our former English teachers are likely cringing at mingling 1st person with 3rd person perspectives, plus our friends are probably thinking, “OMG – one overseas trip and they’re talking about themselves in the 3rd person!”  Seriously – not the case – we just want you to be able to understand who is doing what in our upcoming adventure.

We chose “Taking Flight” as our title since it metaphorically sums up so many things — our 13-hour flight from Detroit to Nagoya, the start of our international experience as a new team, and the connection to our programs this year.  For this blog, we’ll focus on the details of our travel experience today. 

After a somewhat bumpy pre-flight routine in terms of getting to the airport, settling on flying today versus tomorrow for a last minute departure decision, and the anxiety-producing packing of our skates and costumes to pass through security, we made it onto our plane.  US Figure Skating had booked Ellie, Alex and our coach Adrienne Lenda in to a row of 3 seats near the front of the plane.  As we settled in, Adrienne told us that Igor Shpilband (our head coach) wanted us to sleep on the plane, so we needed to stake out empty rows further back to facilitate this.  As fledglings in comparison to her significant travel experience, we dutifully became modern day Admiral Byrds, and claimed our own sleeping rows.

The flight was rather insignificant, except for the duration of it and the fact that Nagoya is 13 hours ahead of Detroit.  This meant that we left Detroit at 3:30 pm on Tuesday and landed in Nagoya at 5:00 pm on Wednesday.  Needless to say, our sleep and eating schedules (which are critically important for skaters) are a tad off right now!  And, lesson #1 learned from a long flight like today — plan out ahead of time when you are actually going to sleep, rather than just trying to wing it.  

So for today, Sa-YOH-Nah-Rah [goodbye] to our training mates in Novi, Michigan and our family and friends in the states, and Kon-Nee-Chee-WAH [hello] to our hosts in Nagoya & Aichi, Japan for the next six days.

~ Ellie & Alex