Monday, August 20, 2012

By the Numbers

Well, I am finally back in Phoenix! But I had another little 2,100 mile trip tacked on to my travel plans.  More on that later...
Jacob finished up Outdoor Nationals strong.  He placed 5th in the 10,000m point race on the road, which placed him 10th in the nation and put him on National Team.  Nas finished as an alternate to the World Team and Lani skated strong on the road.  Because there weren't any rain delays, we had a day to just hang out.  We went to the Cheyene Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO which I highly recommend.  It is one of the most interesting zoos I have ever been to.  However, it does require walking many steep walkways and stairs. 
On Saturday, August 11th, I made the trek to Denver to take Jacob, his coach and teammate back to the airport.  Jared and I spent the rest of the day visiting Garden of the Gods.  Sunday, August 12th, we packed up and took off driving to Phoenix.  The drive was one of the easiest yet.  Normally a 14 hour drive, including stop times, we made it with very few stops and made it in 12 hours!  Side note: 8/12/12 was my 29th wedding anniversary.

While we were on the road, my 22 year old son, Jordan, was accepted into the dance program at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, classes start August 20th.  In talking with him, we were going to leave on Wednesday, so I had 2 days to turn around and leave again.  As we got packing and figuring out the drive times, we realized we needed to get on the road sooner.  We mapped out the trip, and saw that El Paso would be the perfect stopping point.  As chance would have it one of my dearest friends lives in El Paso.  I gave her a call and she was more than happy to let us crash there Tuesday night. 
Jordan's friend Michael went with us to help with the moving.  We took off around noon on Tuesday, stopping in El Paso and arriving in Dallas on Wednesday.  Thursday we were able to move Jordan into his apartment and walk around the campus.  SMU is a beautiful 100 year old campus and the Meadows School looks wonderful.  Michael and I headed back to El Paso on Friday.  Michael got word that night, he didn't need to go into work on Saturday.  This meant we were able to sleep in and just laze around Saturday morning and visit.  I was so wonderful to see my friend, Lena after many years.  I finally got to meet her husband and 6 year old son!  She has such a beautiful home and her family were such gracious hosts.  We headed home around noon on Saturday.

Amazingly, I will be home for seven weeks!!!  I have basically been on the road for 4 months!  Wow! That's hard to believe!
Here are some of the numbers:
Left on April 25th back home August 18th - 16 1/2 weeks or 116 days.
25 traveling days (23 driving, 2 flying)
17,383 miles on my truck
36 days at home
55 days at other places
31 days of school while on the road (finishing one school year and started the next)

10 hotels
3 friends/relatives homes
2 hospitals
11 states (CA, AZ, NM, CO, NE, KS, IA, MN, MO, OK, TX)

3 visits to Josh & John's (best ice cream EVER)
Can't even begin to count restaurants... some notables:
2 hospital cafeterias actually really good food
Fargo's Pizza in Colorado Springs
G&R's authentic mexican food in El Paso
A micro brewery in Minneapolis, GREAT burgers in an amazing old building
Smokin' Bob's Bar B Que (a little partial since it is my brother) His brisket and beans are literally award winning!
I am SOOOOO done with Applebee's and Taco Bell for a loooooong time!!!
6 lbs lost... REALLY!?!?!

3 skating competitions (Trophy Meet, Indoor Nationals, and Outdoor Nationals)
21 individual races plus relays
3 moves (Jared moved bedrooms, Jordan moved home and then to Dallas)
2 weddings attended
1 Family Reunion
1 Business Convention
1 Funeral
2 zoos (Lincoln and Cheyene Mountain)
lots and lots of visiting

65 relatives at Daniels family reunion
3 cousins I never knew, Jim, Irvine and Jay
9 friends I haven't seen in YEARS Barb, Tom, Kris Ann, Derek & Sharon, Randy, Karen & Tessa, and Lena
10 relatives I haven't seen in YEARS Vivian, Sarah, Elle, Jenny, JT, Bob, Cheryl, Janie, Mom and Dad.
2 in-laws I hadn't met yet, Keith and Matt
Many, many friends and relatives, old and new, from all over!
I can't even begin to count the number of hugs, laughs and tears.

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Half Way!

Today is an "off day"!  That's a good thing!  It means we are "off" from skating today.  Outdoor Nationals (ODN) World Team Trials has a track and a road portion.  Track is a 200 meter concrete banked track and Road is a 500 meter laid out track, usually in a parking lot.  There are multiple races at each venue.  Each skater is given points for their placement in an event.  15pts for first, 12pts for second, 10pts for third etc. down to 8th place. The points then determine the USA World Team.  They build in a "rain day" or "off day" between the two parts.  Luckily, we haven't had any rainouts, however it would be nice to have some cooler weather.  It was brutally hot out there yesterday.  I think we only had a high of 93 however, we are in a concrete dish with no shade!!

The exciting news!! Jacob got his first ODN medal.  He finished with a bronze in the 10,000m point/elimination race.  There are 40 guys in his age division?  They put all 40 on the line and they have to duke it out for 50 laps, going approximately 25 mph on inline skates wearing nothing but a helmet and spandex.  It's a little like NASCAR with human bodies.  A point/elim race is starting at lap 5 they ring a bell, it's a point lap, they have one lap to race for the finish line, the person who crosses first gets 2 points, second gets 1 point.  The bell rings again and it's an elimination lap, they have one lap and the person who crosses last is eliminated.  This continues every other lap.  The final placements are based on how many points you can rack up during the race without being eliminated.  Oh, I did mention it's brutally hot out there, right!?!?  This race is considered to be the most difficult race because there is no resting.

I think one of the best parts of this win was the number of people who came over to congratulate Jacob, and his coach Deb.  They all went on about what a great kid he is and how deserving he was of this win.  As a mom, that was music to my ears, that other people think highly of my child.  One of the Master Women skaters has been reporting on the event.  She did a really nice write up on her blog of Jacob's race.  Here is the link: As I Was Saying... ODN Day 2

After this great finish, we had high hopes for Jacob's 15,000m elim race yesterday.  Sadly, he didn't do as well.  He skated a smart race but when it got down to 10 skaters the guy who was in 10th wedged him out on the corner.  The other skater got DQed but by then Jacob was eliminated.  So he finished 9th for that race which is one place out of points. 

So at the half way point, Jacob is 9th in points for World Team.  Jacob's teamates are doing well.  Lani made it to the final of the 1000m sprint giving her 2 points and placing her around 12th overall.  Nas placed 2nd in the 10,000m pt/elim and 5th in the 15,000m elim. I believe this places her in 6th overall for World Team.  The top six skaters make team with skaters number 7th & 8th as alternates. 

Tomorrow we start on road, chasing more points.

I'm living on the eighth day, right now!