Sunday, January 10, 2010

Road Trip

So the Little Coaches and I went to Florida with Mr. Coach and the college team this year.  Every year, all across this fine North American continent, swim teams of the college, high school and club variety head some place warmer (in theory) during their school breaks to train hard, work on their tans and spend waaay too much time together.  By the time the 10-14 day experience is over, you know more than you will ever want or need to know about your teammates’ diets, deviated septums, dysfunctional love lives, and personal hygiene issues.  On the plus side, though, you will find out that the kid from Wisconsin is an accent savant and does an Australian Christopher Walken that has to be heard to be believed.

I know this because, just to make this year’s journey a truly authentic experience, I decided that the kids and I would travel with the team.  On the bus.  In the past, I’ve always flown but this year, as I reviewed my options, I realized that every time I’ve flown during the holiday season, it has been an unmitigated disaster.  It doesn’t matter where you go but if you entrust your carcass to an airline anytime between roughly Dec. 21 and Jan. 8, I can guarantee you will have a terrible experience.  It doesn’t even matter if you’re a mother traveling alone with two small children:  The airline agent will cover her monitor and attempt to convince you that you were booked on the previous flight.  You’ll get bumped.  You’ll sit on the tarmac for five hours of de-icing.  You’ll spend the night in an airport you got re-routed to because of bad weather at your destination.  You will regret ever leaving home, no matter how cold and ice-ridden it may be.

So I made the executive decision that the Little Coaches and I would join Mr. Coach and the team on the bus.  And I don’t regret my decision in the least, especially not after reading that on a flight that I might well have been on the day we left Florida, some idiot stood up and announced he wanted to “kill all the Jews.”  Who needs that, I ask you?  Certainly not me.  I’ll take 20-plus hours on a bus with two cases of intestinal disorders, six varieties of upper-respiratory disease, a “Jaws” DVD and a bus driver who may or may not have been part of a witness protection program over a bag of honey-roasted peanuts and the Second Coming of Hitler. 

And it was a great trip, colder-than-usual weather notwithstanding.  We went to the International Swimming Hall of Fame complex in Fort Lauderdale where the 318th edition of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America winter training forum was taking place.  Part of the deal was that the Little Coaches and I also had to swim.  Not a problem.  There is something very empowering about walking around the pool deck there in Fort Lauderdale as a 20 mile-per-hour wind and 57-degree temps buffet your soaking-wet body, especially when you realize that most people in your demographic are, at that very moment, dry, fully clothed and doing something to earn money.  (You say “clinically insane,” I say “empowering.”) 

I also put a dent in my open-water phobia by going coral-reef snorkeling in 10-foot swells.  It was awesome and I know the divemaster dude thought I was crazy for sure when I asked him what the water temp that day was, and he said, “About 73 degrees,” and I said, “That’s perfect!”  He replied, “That’s not what I would have said.”  And I said, “You obviously haven’t been in my husband’s pool during the high-yardage part of the season.”

I’ve got other interesting experiences to share in my next couple of blogs, but suffice it to say, it was an excellent experience.  Although if I never see another Transformer movie, I will not complain.

1 comment:

  1. Glad we made a dent in that open water phobia!

    Happy New Year Mrs. Coach!


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