Go visit your friends in San Fran!
As a cross country ski racer I spend a fair amount of time traveling on airplanes. The past two summers I have made my way out to Alaska for training trips up on Eagle Glacier. It is an amazing facility and a great way to get good volume training and some quality on snow time during the off season. This summer I wasn’t able to get up on the glacier but instead am headed to Alaska for some dry land training and general adventuring. While staying in one place for a solid chunk of the training season is important I think it is also beneficial to move around a bit to change up venues and training partners to prevent the mental and physical burnout that can accompany training in the same place for several months in a row.
I have always had a love hate relationship with airline travel. I like going to different locations and don’t regret my travel choices once I am finally there. But despite logging a fair number of hours in airplanes during the year, it never becomes very pleasant. In fact I might be one of the worst travelers I know. I hate sitting for extended periods of time, always feel cramped in airplanes, and am that person that is always pacing and headed straight for the gate like the plane might not be there unless I get there two hours early. I have been trying to become a better traveler since it is a necessary evil in ski racing. Unfortunately for me United handed me some nice lemons yesterday when the plane I was supposed to board was several hours late out of Denver and I found out while en route to Logan. Since Alaska happens to be really far from everything except the Western most tip of Russia I couldn’t catch another flight until 5pm the following day. Not what I wanted to hear but at this point I was faced with two choices. Get really angry, make a scene at check in and try to get the lady behind the desk already having a terrible day to get me on an earlier flight, or try to be the calm travel and accept the fact that I wasn’t going to get to Alaska until 26 hours later than I was planning. Luckily for her (and perhaps everyone in that line) I have really been trying to make good on my vow to stop being quite such a grumpy old man and went with the second option.
So I am in SFO waiting for my flight after a great (and unexpected) extra day in San Francisco. My good friend and former teammate from Dartmouth, John Gerstenberger was kind enough to pick me up from the airport and let me stay at his apartment for the night. We went for a nice run this morning and I got to walk around and checkout downtown San Fran on my wandering journey back to the airport since all the BART trains were shut down from a Union strike. It has been great to enjoy some California sunshine (however brief) after a June that seemed to bring nothing but rain and thunderstorms to the Northeast Kingdom.
So remember when you are traveling and life hands you lemons, try to be nice to the ticketing and lost baggage agents! As bad as your day is going I’ll bet their day has been a bit worse…