I’m in the Newark airport, fresh off the plane from Glasgow. One word sums up my first team USA experience: amazing! It started off in an unusual fashion as many of us were stuck in the Newark airport over night after our flight to Glasgow was canceled. We all introduced ourselves, got new tickets, and headed over to the new departure gate. We slept huddled together in the corner draping stolen Continental blankets over ourselves. It was freezing and uncomfortable, but bonded us in a way I never even have dreamed of. On Thursday we spent the entire day playing card games and walking around the airport in an attempt to loosen up our legs for the races. If the trip ended after the 24 hours we spent stuck in the airport I still would have been happy. It was inspiring to meet such great athletes and learn about each person. Four of us were rookies, some people were sponsored while others weren’t, and everyone was chasing the same dream. How could I not be enjoying myself? The fact that I played Uno and bullshit the entire day with strangers and boarded a plane 19 hours later as their friend leaves me speechless (…typeless?).
I slept for maybe 3 hours on the flight to Glasgow. Usually I fall asleep as soon as the plane starts moving, but I was extremely excited to see Scotland! We landed in Glasgow 24 hours behind schedule, with just a day to the race. It wasn’t the ideal situation, but you can only control certain circumstances. Although most of the previous 24 hours was out of my control, almost everything since arriving in Glasgow was up to me. It was time for business!
It was now Friday night, one day before the race. Since leaving Phoenix two days ago, including a nap, I got a total of 8.5 hours of sleep. At this point sleep and recovery were my focus. Surprisingly, I wasn’t very nervous and woke up on race day feeling rejuvenated. My race went really well, but team USA didn’t win – we got 4th.
For the last night a few of us went downtown to a night club. Besides going to the track this was the first time I left the hotel. I had fun and it was great to actually see Glasgow, unfortunately I couldn’t understand anyone though – it was hard enough without the loud music!
This was one of the best experiences of my life. And I’m not just saying that to say it – I have been fortunate to live a privileged life that has allowed me to travel to many great places and partake in many adventures, but this trip topped all of those experiences. Hopefully I can make another US team and continue to live my dreams, but in the meantime I want to thank USATF for the opportunity they gave me and everyone I met for making the trip amazing.