I HAVE to admit that I have never felt more alone than the experience of my first week in a foreign country, not able to understand the native tongue.LIFE ABROADWillkommen in Deutschland! Welcome to Germany - the country I am based in for the preparation for my second Commonwealth Games appearance, to begin on October 3 in New Delhi, India.I arrived in Potsdam, just outside of Berlin, on June 13 and am based at a sports school with all the facilities for some hard training ahead.Although I love my life and wouldn't change it for the world, things are rarely as they seem, because even in the greatest of opportunities some things just totally suck.My first week here has been a little harder than anticipated, for a number of reasons. There have been some problems within my training group and now I am training each session on my own, usually one-on-one with my coach.My iPod has become my new training partner and best friend.Although I am adjusting to the situation, when you're half a world away from the people you love, and people who respect you, you start to miss them very quickly.I guess that's just business - we don't always get along with everyone we work with.It's very difficult in a foreign nation with a different language. Things you would normally not think about become real challenges, like ordering from a menu or reading labels at the supermarket (thank God for the picture of the cat on the tin of fish I went in to buy) or which ticket to buy on the tram.Jokes aside, I have found that most people do speak a little English so you can work things out.As I have learned in life, all you need is time and things will be ok ... sure enough, after one week I'm beginning to settle in, relax and embrace the culture.PREPARATIONMy preparation over the past four weeks has been markedly interrupted by various minor issues that just keep me short of a full training load.This is frustrating but I keep in mind something Steve Hooker once said: "There is no such thing as a perfect preparation".I have faith that the strength I need mentally and physically will arrive within me at precisely the moment I need it.I can also draw confidence in the fact my training performances are still strong - you'll be happy to know that I increased my bench press personal best to 90 kilograms and also lifted 90kg over my head for a jerk (the jerk is the movement of lifting the weight from the shoulders to overhead). My technical training, the most important part of throwing a javelin a long way, is under the watchful eye of former East German thrower Uwe Hohn - the only man ever to launch the javelin 100m.To be exact his 104.80m throw stands as an `eternal world record', meaning it was thrown with the old model javelin before they changed it to shorten the flight distance, for obvious safety reasons (imagine a Collis Birmingham shaslik).REFLECTIONSI believe in the power of the human spirit. I have worked hard on myself over many years to be truly happy and inspire others to find their happiness.I miss the company of some good mates to chat with most.I hope to do Ballarat and Australia proud, throw a long way and enjoy the experience.