For me the first hour in a new country is always the hardest. Everything is different. Guards carry machine guns. People speak other languages. Taxi drivers want to take me and my money places. It is usually dark outside. My host is usually someone I have never met face to face.
Once I get to the hotel it is easy to calm down and understand the situation. Is it safe to walk around outside? What is the weather like? Where can I find drinking water? Where is the fire escape? (Those are useful not only during a fire but electric outages and other less than desirable situations.)
In less than an hour I walk onto a plane to Singapore by way of Hong Kong. So much new so quick. This is going to be great!
To the athletes I work with racing Saturday: be patient at the start and hammer toward the end. You've done most of the work, now, do the last little part.
(By the way, this was written on my phone from Chicago O'Hare airport.)