Being from California anything under 60 degrees is considered freezing. Yes, we’re a little dramatic but we’re just not used to the cold. So when I found out we had a game in Siberia, the coldest zone of Russia, I knew I had to get prepared. I got anything warm you could think of: gloves, scarf, jacket, beanie, long sleeves, thermals, even earmuffs. I made sure I would be ready in every way and still, once I stepped out into that Russian cold, there’s nothing that could have prepared me for it.
Our game was in a city called Krasnoyarsk and it was -35 degrees Fahrenheit when we landed. -35!!!
It’s hard to even imagine or explain what that kind of weather feels like but I will say it was so cold my eyes were watering just standing outside and it was difficult to breath in the cold air. Inside when we were practicing, my chest hurt because the air was so dry and elevation so high. Also I forgot my gloves so my hands literally hurt from the cold if I didn’t keep them in my pockets. Anything wet was frozen- windows in the hotel and bus windows-and even our airplane was frozen at one point. Before we took off, they had to “de-freeze” the plane with a special machine. What’s great about Russia is that they don’t play with their heating systems. So besides having to walk into the gym/hotel, I was warm and cozy when inside. But even so, the short walks outside were no joke!
After that type of cold, I can never complain about any weather under 60 degrees again. As a matter of a fact when we returned back to Ankara, Turkey it was around 30 degrees and that felt like summer after the -35. It was also nice being in the snow, because it’s a rarity to see any snow in Southern California at all. Even though it was literally freezing, going to Russia, being in that type of weather and around the snow was cool and I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience it. It’s definitely a trip that I won’t forget.