I'm telling you—it's not a myth. It really isn't. Speaking of when I first got here and was running around, it was very difficult the first two weeks to catch my breath. For now, us as Broncos players, we love the altitude because it's an advantage for us. – Montee Ball (NFL Player)
Saturday, January 23, 2016 (DAY 1,418)
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Let the record show once and for all -- the altitude is a factor in Denver.
"I'm telling you -- it's not a myth. It really isn't," rookie running back Montee Ball said. "Speaking of when I first got here and was running around, it was very difficult the first two weeks to catch my breath. For now, us as Broncos players, we love the altitude because it's an advantage for us."
Linebacker Shaun Phillips played in Denver as an opponent in nine consecutive seasons as a San Diego Charger, and he acknowledged that it's something opposing teams have to account for.
"It's definitely an advantage (for the Broncos), but I just always felt that if somebody else is doing it, then I can deal with it. That's always been my attitude here," he said. "But to this day, I still suck air a little bit. It's pretty tough."
Now that he's a member of the Broncos, practicing at high altitude on a daily basis, Phillips said he notices a difference. But "even when you get a day off," it's obvious again during the next day of practice.
The main issue, Colorado native Mitch Unrein explained, is that less oxygen reaches the body at higher elevations. So not only is it harder to breathe, muscles get fatigued faster and players tire out quicker.
"I’ve lived here my whole life and I don’t think you ever really get used to trying to play in this altitude," the defensive tackle said. "Obviously, we’re more accustomed to it just because we practice in it every day. But for teams that come up here, I know it’s a struggle for them just to try to catch their breath after a long drive and just trying to keep fresh after every play.”
“That stuff burns," linebacker Danny Trevathan agreed. "If you’re not used to it, it sneaks up on you. You think you’re fine, but then once you get to running around, you feel that extra clap in your lungs."
The topic was addressed in the Philadelphia Eagles locker room this week, particularly because the Eagles offense -- not to mention the Broncos offense -- likes to move at such a quick tempo.
Former Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who made a trip to Boulder, Colo., in college to take on the Buffs, said he developed "cotton mouth pretty fast," according to CSNPhilly.
“It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to get used to it. That’s what I remember most,” he said. “I definitely felt it."
Eagles cornerback Cary Williams, who played in Denver in the playoffs last season as a member of the Ravens, said "it was tough" to get acclimated to the altitude.
Head Coach John Fox recalled coming to Denver as an opposing coach, and noted that "early, you feel it."
"It’s probably the best home-field advantage in the NFL," he said. "That’s why I think our home record is so good.”
To that point, the Broncos have lost just once in their past 10 regular-season games at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
As for just how much of a factor it will be for the Eagles on Sunday, Phillips took a wait-and-see approach.
"We'll find out," he said.
(*source: DenverBroncos.com by Gray Caldwell Posted Sep 25, 2013)
시작이 반이다 (meaning: Starting is half the task) – Korean Proverb
(*please note while this is published for the moment the writing is still in progress*)
Sunday, January 24, 2016 (DAYS 1,419 – 1,423)
While I do not speak for the entire Korean Adoptee Community (#KADS), there is an overall consenus–I believe–that has legitimate pieces of advice for Korean adoptees, their families, and friends that are coming to Korea for the first time or one-hundredth time–and the entire sum of this advice is RESPECT! First of all, for the Korean adoptees that are living in Korea both short-term and long-term you ALL must realize that we, KADS,
are treated with the status of second-to-third class citizens–often overlooked and passed up for jobs to Caucasian foreigners, held to a higher-level of expectation based upon the fact that we look Korean and in the eyes of the public are expected to understand cultural etiquette and customs, and deal with an assortment of difficulties regardless of what region or country you were adopted to and the Western influences that we bring back to Korea.
The reason I feel that this is an absolutely necessary topic to write about is due to the recent issues that the KAD community continues to deal with and with the onset of peak season approaching with the summer months. I hope this blog entry will be read and shared with others to gain a deeper understanding as this can and will effect ALL future adoptees returning to Korea!
Imagine for just a moment, whether you are an adoptee yourself or a parent, family member, or friend of a Korean adoptee, and how you would like this person or yourself to continue to be treated as though they hold a lesser quality or value to them just because of the fact that they were adopted? How would that make you feel? And, even furthermore, how would it make you feel when other adoptees returning to Korea are NOT making it any easier for the KAD community here, but actually are making things worse and more difficult! Yes, this is the struggle that many of us face, and many of us are tired of standing by watching as individuals and groups come through Korea for short-term trips acting like drunken buffoons or loud-mouthed Westerners only to leave a trail of a negative image of Korean adoptees. Yes, I understand this happens with other foreigners and Korean nationals, the major difference is that often the entire KAD community is grouped together and as we struggle and fight for more recognition from the Korean government, funding from various organizations, scholarships, and the guesthouses that are specifically for KADS, YOUR actions can and WILL determine much of what WILL happen for the future of KADS in Korea.
I've personally seen KADs that are 18-years-old to those above the age of 40 acting completely disgraceful and with no regard in respecting the KADS and/or organizations that are here to support ALL KADS, but especially those that want to come back and stay on a more long-term basis. Many of us–including my roommates, one constantly petitioning with the Korean government NOT to cut funding for KADS and my other roommate that works for G.O.A.L. (Global Overseas Adoptees' Link) in assisting with birth family searches and immigration for this NGO, as well as myself. I work with many high-ranking business executives, CEOs, doctors, lawyers, etc. and the first thing I let them know about myself is that I am an adoptee. The reason I tell them this is because I want these individuals to become more educated and aware of the numerous KADS in Korea–on average 5,000 to 6,000 KADS return each year to Korea–and I am working hard to build a great network that I can help other KADS with high-ranking clients if and whenever they may be needed!
Therefore, I do not want to continue to feel as though this is a giant lecture, I just want KADS and their family/friends to realize how MUCH THEIR actions CAN and WILL determine the future of KADS in Korea, especially when many of us that are living here are attempting to not only reconnect with our Korean roots, but there are many of us that are trying to create positive changes for current KADS and future KADS. One more example is a Saturday Night Live (#SNL) Korea skit that was mocking Korean adoptees reuniting with their birth families, and thus since then has been removed and a publicly apology has been made by the network, however, I wanted to post the official stance from the Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (G.O.A.L.) had to say regarding this particular skit that aired on television in Korea and is extremely popular. "We at GOA’L are deeply offended by the SNL Korea adoptee reunion parody that aired on March 8 on tvN and strongly encourage SNL Korea to air a public apology during their next broadcast to demonstrate their remorse and willingness to repair relations with the adoptee community, Korean birth family members, and all others that were hurt by this insensitive display of ignorance. We insist that tvN and SNL Korea take every precaution to make sure that they do not repeat this kind of callous misrepresentation again." Nikolaj Leschly, Secretary General of GOA'L, continued by stating, "It was uncomfortable because a reunion between an adoptee and his or her birth parents is for many adoptees, a very, very long awaited moment in their lives. The SNL Korea skit made a mockery of that sacred moment and that hurts." You may read the entire blog HERE and I plan to have the video of this skit in the near future.
MISLEADING CONCEPTION KADS RECEIVE THROUGH ORGANIZED TRIPS:
The organized trips (i.e. First Trip Home, Home-to-Home, InKAS Summer Camp, etc and etc) these are all wonderful and personally, I am very thankful to these organizations and opportunities, however, they can all be misleading to KADS that think THIS IS THE TRUE KOREA and THIS IS HOW I WILL BE TREATED, IF, I were to come back and live in Korea as a KAD. Statements such as, "oh wow I was surprised that people spoke English, and we are welcomed in such a wonderful way!" Yes, this is great, but again this is an ORGANIZED trip where you are provided with translators and an itinerary. Even as you wander off for a few days on your own even, spend time going to the less touristic areas and see how you are treated. THIS is WHY we have a struggle and WHY many of us are here working hard to ensure a better future for KADS that want to come to Korea–short or long-term. Also, if you want the government and these organizations to continue to receive funding, once again REALIZE that YOUR actions and interactions WILL determine much of what will happen in the future to these organizations and our ability to receive continued funding and support.
Any KAD that has lived in Korea for any given time–interacting with the general public–has seen the genuine reality in how we are treated versus that of organized trips through guides and translators. Walking into shops you are automatically given the assumption that you should speak and understand Korean. While based upon our appearance this is an understandable mistake, however, there are SOME–not every–but some shop owners, taxi drivers, and of course the general public can treat you very cold and rude. Another KAD gave the best example in illustrating how we are treated differently versus foreigners–and this is by no means to knock my Korean friends and/or Korea in general–however, he said, "if Koreans see a foreigner attempting to speak Korean they will stand and clap, cheering and encourage you, as trained seals–his words–while if a KAD is doing the same thing. We are often looked at as if we are mentally challenged and even made fun of or ridiculed for our poor pronunciation!" A HUGE disparity even when attempting to learn the language of our descent.
Even upon my first trip to Korea in 2013 through the assistance of Eastern Social Welfare Society (#ESWS) with the Home To Home program that assisted myself and eight other KADS in reuniting us with our birth families, I had no idea that there were NUMEROUS organizations available to KADS! ESWS was the adoption agency that I was adopted through, and I was highly encouraged by realizing that I was not alone, and furthermore, that there were a handful of opportunities for KADS that most rely upon Korean government and private support, both financially and regarding the law. You may read about MY ADOPTION STORY AND REUNION HERE.
There are a few guesthouses for KADS, the above are InKAS Woorijip Guesthouse and Koroot's Guesthouse. While these facilities are for KADS, once again many of the KADS that stay here ARE LIVING HERE, and therefore we just ask that KADS be RESPECTFUL of the fact that these are NOT party hostels, and by treating them as such, this CAN jeopardize whether or not these facilities continue to remain open and available for future KADS! There are RULES and often requirements for staying at these facilities. IF you are coming to Korea to visit and would like to stay at these facilities, once again BE RESPECTFUL of the fact that the KADS living in these facilities typically have schedules whether we are studying and/or working and therefore, if you want to come to Korea and party or whatever, please consider staying at a more traditional traveler's guesthouse or hostel, and be welcome to MAKE ARRANGEMENTS to come and visit these facilities, BUT you MUST UNDERSTAND that you should contact the facilities before just showing up for a 'tour' of the places. We often work hard to create a cohesive communal living environment, and showing a blatant disrespect of this fact will in no doubt carry with it a negative reputation for yourself and once again can easily be a cause and reason to have these great places get shut down! I know that many KADS that come to Korea, this may not only be their first time abroad, but it may also be there first time in a communal living environment. Stumbling in late at night into the dorms, inviting your friends (KADS or not) is not only against the rules of many of these facilities, but is also showing disrespect in a major way AND can cause a dangerous situation for the other guests. I have written another blog on this topic entitled ADVICE FROM LONG-TERM HOSTEL GUESTS FOR NEWBIES, particularly pertaining to KADS, as we have experienced some extremely rude guests. Just keep in mind that some simple suggestions.
10 SIMPLE RULES FOR GUESTHOUSE VISITORS
1) OBEY THE RULES of the guest house, including RESPECTING CURFEWS!
2) Realize that there MAY BE curfews for example at one it is 11pm! IF THIS IS A PROBLEM FOR YOU, then stay at a traditional guest house or hostel that does not have a curfew OR stay at a hotel! DO NOT stay at KAD guesthouses and EXPECT
TO BLATANTLY IGNORE OR HAVE THIS RULE BE EXEMPT FOR YOU!
3) WASH YOUR DISHES! (*don't treat Korean staff like your personal maids)
4) Be cognizant of noise levels (whether this be late at night/early in the morning talking and/or playing music)
5) Pick up after yourself, because surprise WE ARE NOT your mother!
6) SECURITY (both with personal items and this is all of OUR living space)
7) FOOD & TOILETRY ITEMS, these items are NOT for everyone, WE purchase these items with OUR money!
8) WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK before just doing things (i.e. unplugging or plugging in electronics, because there is a difference in the voltage/amperage most likely from your home country and this can easily blow the electrical circuit.
9) SCHEDULES, please be considerate by asking if ANYONE in the dorm may have
scheduled responsibilities (i.e. here for an organized trip and/or school, work, etc. of course the polite thing to do is ask before occupying the bathroom for long periods of times, and this is understood that this goes BOTH DIRECTIONS for long-term guests and those visiting more short-term.
10) DON'T BE WASTEFUL!
*You would like to think the last rule of not being wasteful wouldn't be an issue, but recently I was woken up early in the morning to some loud drunk visiting KAD guests just wasting paper towels tearing them off and spreading them around on the table laughing! REALLY?! C'mon man, are you an adult or what? Another long-term guest made the best comment after yelling at them later, because they not only brought in a stranger to the guest house, but he asked how old these two Australian KADs were and they said, "19-years-old," he told them, "if you are old enough to travel abroad by yourself you should be old enough to read and follow the rules, which are POSTED EVERYWHERE around the guest house." Furthermore, a social worker, whom I will keep anonymous as not to create MORE verbal abuse that the social workers deal with on a daily basis from demanding overseas KADS often, that she spoke with these two individuals several times about the rules and their lack of respect and concern for the security of the fact that this guest house is not only a guest house, but also an orphanage for more than 30 babies! By bringing in a stranger–whom granted they said was a friend of theirs, another adoptee–this 'stranger' was also intoxicated and wondered down to the Babies' Home late at night/early in the morning hours, and thus could have been a very HORRIFIC situation that could have given reason for this VERY IMPORTANT facility to be shut down if a more dangerous situation would have occurred! This is WHY it's SO very important that KADS respect these rules so strictly! Once again if you want to come to Korea and 'party it up' then please stay at a hostel or guest house for international travelers that do not have curfews nor an orphanage on the premises! The proof of this wastefulness is photographed below, while trying to keep the individuals anonymous.
NUMEROUS ORGANIZATIONS FOR KADS IN KOREA
Communal living already has it's ups and downs with plenty of challenges and difficulties, I truly feel that most of us living in these types of environments–especially a veteran having lived in more than 350 different hostels/guesthouses around the world–the difference is that KAD guesthouses have a different set of challenges and the long-term guests that call these places home work hard to try to create a cohesive living environment. The disruption of our guest house is viewed NOT as entitlement, as one very inconsiderate KAD liked to try to use as his excuse for being disrespectful, but a matter of RESPECT!
Please realize that by being inconsiderate of these places, CAN and WILL cause them to no longer exist for yourself and future KADS! The same inconsiderate KAD that disrupted our living environment for an entire month, after several of us discussed things when this person left, we realized that several of us had the same feelings toward him, that none of us discussed among one another because we did not want to seem as though we were 'ganging up on him' or because we felt that maybe 'I'm the only one feeling this way.' This person, whom is nearly 40-years-old also has–once again in my opinion–been deceptive in meeting with many of the above organizations with possible future intentions of creating his own for-profit KAD organization! While there are plenty of arguing and problems with every organization–both for KADS and not–the problem with this is that this individual will be disrupting and destroying what many of these organizations have worked hard to do thus far. Again it's not perfect and there are plenty of changes that need to be made, but as an entrepreneur, I feel that when someone has a negative track record with failed businesses and questionable ethics, this is a formula for disaster.
Once again I try to write in ways to keep the individuals anonymous, but I need to refer to them to provide very clear examples of what has or is happening within the KAD community in Korea. As I silently observed this individuals level of disrespect I also noticed that he made several female KADS quite uncomfortable with what one female described as, "being cornered and harassed with very personal questions." Several male KADS felt this older person was preying on young naive female KADS both in Korea and within the social media groups on Facebook. Instead of choosing to erupt like a volcano on this person–possibly saying something I would truly regret later, I silently, or in his words through "passive-aggressiveness" just tolerated this person in the last 10-days to a week before knowing he would be leaving. When we did have a private conversation, every thing I brought up was twisted by him through a very condescending tone, which I already knew would be the case based upon this person's character, and thus choosing not to even waste any more time or energy in trying to reason with this person through respect and clear communication. The words of ,"so you, and others that live here feel that you have more entitlement to this place, huh' and 'you are just being nitpicky, and if I wanted to be nitpicky, I could also find areas to be nitpicky about too." Nice response, I'm sorry! I suppose waking up at 4am and Skyping without headphones where people can hear BOTH-SIDES of the conversation in the common area waking EVERYONE up IS being both nitpicky and feeling as though WE–that live here–are feeling a sense of more entitlement to the place. I would think ANYONE that experienced this same situation would agree that it's not either of these, but a lack of respect for others! The only other topic I was able to bring up was the fact that I even cleared more space in the dorm for this person to place their shoes as they constantly left them just inside the entrance to the dorm and anyone walking in would nearly trip over them! I politely asked that he place them out of the way of the narrow entrance walkway. Once again I was given a retort of being called 'nit-picky' with this request, instead of apologizing and owning up to the fact that this is COMMON SENSE. These were just a few of the very reasonable and logical issues that I brought up and based upon this person's response, I was given was erroneous and ridiculous replies of a defensive nature, that's when I made the decision that I felt the need to no longer waste time trying to talk with someone that I have never in ALL of my travels or life have seen someone make such absurd excuses, instead of just owning up to them.
Another KAD said she sat and talked with him for more than an hour and later realized that not once did he ask her a question, but constantly talked of himself and tried to impose his spiritualism on her. Ok, I don't care what you believe, but when you are two-faced and try to act self-holy on any level, I think most of us find that absolutely annoying. I don't want to keep dragging this on sounding as a complainer, but again I hope these examples demonstrate what 'characters' we have within the KAD community that show up at the guesthouses. The last thing I will mention is–once again your freedom of beliefs is a privilege for everyone–however, my issue was the fact that this person would act like a chameleon when it came to people's beliefs. If someone said they were agnostic, guess what here comes a sharing of that belief. If someone said they were Christian, he would suddenly pull out these hand-drawn images of Jesus with some words of random inspiration. However, when asked about his belief in Christianity he admitted that, "I do not believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God or the only way to heaven is believing this." Ok, fine you believe that and that is your choice, however, then why are you handing these drawings out. To me, this shows once again the deceptiveness of this person's character and it's like someone handing out the Book of Mormon that later will admit, "oh I don't believe any of this whatsoever." Well then WHY are you being such a fake person?! Seriously, I know you all have heard this, but just be yourself. Stop pretending and being two-faced, especially through deceptive methods. The freedom to debate and discuss is great, but when people act in such ways, of course this is something that tells much about a person's character, or lack thereof, in my opinion.
In the end, after this person was FINALLY departed from the guest house and we all began to speak more freely about our feelings, that's when we realized several of us had the same understanding of this person. Several weeks later, we were notified that this person may be coming back to Korea to try and begin a for-profit organization and once this rumor became more of a reality EVERYONE remaining in the guest house said they would rather move out than spend more time with this person. Therefore, once again just because we are all KADS does not mean we all share a deeper connection of friendship, especially when that other person has no respect for others. Unfortunate situations occur like this regularly, but we–that live here–have once again chosen to stand up and say that this person WILL NOT force us out. Currently we are almost at full occupancy, and guess what, there is complete cohesion within the guest house, because we have RESPECTFUL guests!
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR FIRST-TIME KADS VISITING
About the Author
My name is Troy and I gave up a promising 12-year career to travel the world! Now after more than 4-years of continuous global travel, I've lived an incredible life and my goal is to inspire others to achieve their dreams!
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