I’m not a big fan of waking up at 2:30am. Not. at. all. But this morning, I made a big exception. I got dressed, moved my suitcases downstairs, put on a kettle of tea, and drove down I-95 to Philadelphia International for Houston, the first leg of my journey en route to my internship at the United States Olympic Committee. After we checked in, grabbed my boarding passes, and checked my bags, it was time to say goodbye to mom and dad. Thankfully, having done the whole see-you-in-like-three-whole-months thing when I moved to England last fall, I didn’t shed too many tears this go-around.
Waiting for my flight to Houston, the airport was pretty quiet, and I realized my John Mayer playlist just wouldn’t cut it, as it was putting me to sleep, so I quickly switched to Coldplay’s live album from Glastonbury to keep me alert. I was getting antsy and fidgety in the air, and I had to laugh, knowing I’ve done much better with a few transatlantic flights in recent months.
Arriving in Houston was pretty awesome, as I lived there for ten years and haven’t been back to visit since I left a few years ago. One of my best friends who lives in Texas still, Jacob, had a laugh that I was only a few miles away, but only stopping over for an hour. The connection to Colorado Springs was a smaller jet, and I mostly read the whole way there, with clouds obscuring my view. When the clouds dissipated, all I could see was an expanse of desert, rock, canyon, and mud, until, all of a sudden, the impressive Pikes Peak came into view, and the rest of the Rockies behind it. At the foot of the Peak was a sprawling city, the first civilization I’d seen in quite some time! And just like that, we were landing in Colorado Springs.
I was met at the Colorado Springs airport by Sherri from the USOC, who picked me up with one of the shooting coaches for Team USA. They pointed out different sites along the way and told stories about the ’96 Games when the Torch came right through downtown Springs and the complex! When we arrived at the Training Center, I checked in, got my ID badge, and moved into my residence hall room in Cortina. Each of the halls are named for a different Games site, so next to my building are also Innsbruck and Oslo Halls. Looks like I moved in just time, too; the thunderstorms have rolled in over the Peak.
I’m still adjusting to adding two hours to my time to figure out the time back in Philly, instead of subtracting five hours from London time, but I’m excited to get my time at the USOC underway! As they say here, Amazing Awaits, and I’m sure the same will be in store for me this summer!