"A little rest goes a looooooonnnnnnng way towards good health..."....

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January 11, 2008...Coldchun City...about 20 degrees day time...10 'maybe' at night...

Now I know why "furry" animals hibernate during the winter...I think I probably would too if I had any mop on top these days...I mean really, how people are able to daily survive in this type of really cold, you know, the "type" where manmade cloth and half covered body leather, down coat, shoes, thermals DO NOT HOLD BACK the invitation of being outside in this environment...I swear, any "new" hairs that had any desire to regenerate are definitely "on ice" right now...

Went to the Winter Ice Sculpture Park in Changchun last week...It was really a work of art...and admirable too, when you consider this work wasn't done in a warm warehouse or garage, but rather constructed outside over a two to three week period...The ice forms of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and other Disney characters were really well done...I must say, the Chinese really know how to make impressions and professional displays in their public works...

This past week: rest rest and more rest was my menu "choice du jour" when all said and done...I was so exhausted from the last several weeks of cold, flu cough syndrome, due to all of our traveling in and out of Changchun, my body at this point on the "meter" was like "okay, Newell, one day we're in 10 degree weather, with an assistant coach coughing on you during the games, leaving "gel" on your backside hair, and then in 70 degree weather the next 3-4 days and back to Coldchun...give me a break..."...so you see where the end of the season couldn't have come at a better time, in terms of allowing my complete healing from within to begin and sustain itself in preparation for next month's Russian clinic in Vladivostok...My cough is 90% removed...my "jingle" in my step is back...I always have a "jingle", you know a song in my mindshare that gets me goin each new day, it's fun and I highly recommend it...As long as it's not "heavy metal"...I mean if you choose that, there's a good chance you'll "become" heavy metal, entangled on the highway somewhere from an accident...hope not...

Russian Update: got an email from our State Department's Attache' Office in Vladivostok, Russia, confirming the Visa Documents have finally been approved by the Minister of Sport and Education and a couple of other Ministry closets...I guess...Anyway, this event is turning into an exciting itinerary based upon the latest update from our State Department...I will be doing a 4 day coaches clinic, Feb. 4-8, then a visit to a secondary school outside Vladivostok, addressing a couple hundred kids about Proper Nutrition when playing sports, how to be successful when participating and also talking about making right decisions, off and on the field of one's activity, especially when parents aren't around...then on Feb. 9th I will be an invited speaker to an assembly of Sports Development Students at a Primoryti University, outside Vladivostok, and the topic of presentation will be developing "volunteerism in youth sports through training and certification programs, related to sports nutrition, youth sports injury awareness, and teaching participants first instead of coaching them initially...But the one affair I am most humbled and honored by is the invitation by our Consulate General in Vladivostok, who is having a hosted party for me and the Russian college coaches who will be participating in my clinic...I got goose bumps when I read this part...I mean, what better way to introduce diplomacy and improved relations than through sports training and exchange programs and THEN honoring the attendees...that's great stuff...I can hardly wait to meet the CG there..his support staff of Bridget and Dimitry have been so helpful in cooperating with the various entities there in Vladivostok to make this event happen...I am so blessed...Now, here's the tough part: once I get the Visa Letter/Invitation, I have to take a train from Changchun to Shenyang by train, about a 3 hour trip one way, visit the Russian Consulate's Office there, pay for the "stamp" that will be good ONLY for 10 days NO LONGER...otherwise ol tommyboy is in the "Gulag" writing messages and sending them to you guys in a bottle!! Hah!! Then I get back on the train and return to Changchun, leave the following day to Beijing for hopeful meetings regarding Head Coaching positions, and also making an appearance at Wang Fei's Basketball Academy...high school age players...looking forward to that visit before departing for Russia...

The trip home in February...I am making arrangements to return after the trip to Russia...then on February 18th, I plan on making a trip down south to LA, to visit our daughter Paige, who works for a design company there, and then on to San Diego to drop in on my Father, Coach Pete Newell...I have been able to speak to him throughout my stay here in China, and it has been a wonderful relief to hear his stories and accounts of Cal Football, college basketball and the NBA observations that he has...He is really excited about Yi, the Milwaukee Bucks Rookie who attended The Big Man's Camp when he was 16 and then again the following year...He is so proud of this young man's development, and I can see why: he's a natural when it comes to understanding the game, his footwork and his court demeanor...There should be more CBA players playing in the NBA today, but as long as the coaches misunderstand the template for teaching and developing players, it is going to a very slow process of entry, I'm afraid...

Okay, gotta run, now...it's late and I'm tired, goin to hit the sack...take care, have great Seahawk weekend watching the Hawks vs. the Pack, and I hope the Dawgs fair well vs. USC...drive safely, hug your kids, and kids hug your parents and tell them how much you love them for their love and support in all that you do...Coach tom

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