Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful

Oh, the Weather Outside is Frightful

One thing's for sure -- I won't be doing that again. This week's bus adventure was more than I could handle. On Tuesday evening, I made my way from downtown over to Union Station. I was still three hours early even after I ate dinner. Killing the time, I sat in Starbucks and bummed off of their Wi-Fi for an hour. Then I grabbed a seat and read my kindle for another hour. When I was only one hour early, I decided to head upstairs and outside to the bus terminal. I went ahead and stood in line even though it wasn't time to board yet. It was very cold that night, maybe in the 30s, but I continued to wait so I could have the seat I wanted. I had already been awake since 5 a.m. that morning and I couldn't wait to get on my bus and sleep through the ride to New York. I heard a lot of commotion between the few employees and a group of customers. It seemed that the employees had delivered some upsetting news about their bus. I snaked through the crowd to ask one man what the deal was. The man said that the 10 p.m. bus to New York had been delayed an hour at least. This wasn't good...if the 10 p.m. bus was an hour behind, surely my 10:45 bus would be the same. I began to shiver. I was exhausted. My backpack started to hurt me but there were puddles at my feet.  I stood there shivering for the next 90 minutes thinking to myself "I've never been this cold in my entire life". Finally, our bus arrived and we were on the road by midnight. I never took my mittens off-- I was still so cold from waiting outside so long. While I could have slept the whole night away, sleep was impossible. The bus stopped multiple times and the driver acted as if it were 2 in the afternoon, offering Burger King and making a pit stop. I tried again to sleep but not a chance. At only 3:30 a.m., we were pulling into the Port Authority in New York City. Apparently even with our Burger King detour, we made excellent time. I was furious... I still hadn't slept at all. Since we got in so early, I had another three hours until my next bus -- I was livid. Walking around, everyone seemed to have the right idea, and were fast asleep in the chairs. I searched and searched for an empty one, but there weren't any at all. Desperate for sleep, I found a wall, threw my belongings down at my feet, and slept. Yes, I slept on the cold, filthy, bus station floor. My next bus came and I slept on there too, gathering about three hours of sleep between the floor in the station and that last bus ride. When I finally arrived at my Dad's house, a shower and a bed never sounded so nice.

 

Thanksgiving morning, it was time for The Great Turkey Escape -- the 5k race that my stepmom, Debbie, and I signed up for back in October. I had been running a lot to prepare for the race, but I had only ever reached 3 miles one time before. That morning, the temperature was 27 degrees with a wind chill of 21 degrees. Despite having gloves and hats, Debbie and I only wore the thin polyester race shirt thinking we would overheat with any more clothing. My Dad dropped us off at the race at 7:45 with fifteen minutes to spare before the race. Remember when I stood outside for three hours waiting for my bus and thought I had never been colder? This was nothing like that. I actually thought that maybe I was going to die before the race even started. This was only fifteen minutes, compared to hours waiting for the bus. Even so, I was thinking to myself "I would wait for that bus again and again if I could just be warm right now." When the race started we were READY to run (normally I despise running but it was that cold) just so we could heat up our bodies. The course started at our firehouse and made a big loop around our town. When registering for the race, they warn you that the course is "hilly," with a "significant hill" after the second mile. Debbie and I were doing great; we finished the first two miles in 20 minutes without stopping at all. We kept an even pace, being really careful to avoid stepping on any of the ice that had formed in the roads overnight. Sure enough, as promised, we came to that significant hill after mile two. I couldn't help but laugh at the size of it -- I thought my legs were going to give out and I was going to crumple onto the road. Everyone around us was dying and then someone shouted "the rest of the race is downhill!" All we needed was that ounce of motivation and we took off, flying down the hill, around the corner, and back to the firehouse. Debbie and I saw the finish line and burst towards it, hugging each other as we crossed. The best part is, after the race, we were so freezing again standing around waiting for my Dad, we decided to keep running to stay warm. I guess 3.1 miles wasn't enough for these two crazy ladies who kept running until my Dad passed us in his car and claimed us off the side of the road! Afterwards, I was so proud of myself. I finished my first race in 32 minutes and 33 seconds. Four months ago, before D.C., I couldn't even run one mile. I'll never forget the feeing I had that day -- much like my skydiving adventure, I'm ready to do it again.

 

Debbie and I Before the Race

 

 

Running in the Race

 

Thanksgiving was as it usually is, filled with family, food, and football. Although, I must say, I am a little disappointed with the lack of pasta this year! I'm certain I made up for it with all the cheese and salami I devoured. I don't really love Thanksgiving food -- my plate mostly consists of a heaping spoonful of mashed potatoes. I am always ready to dessert thought; I justified the cake, apple pie, and cookies I ate with the miles I had ran earlier that day -- guilt free (okay, not entirely)! Once the Cowboys beat the Raiders, all of our holiday traditions were complete.

 

My Noni and I Before the Cowboys Game

 

The bus ride home was uneventful -- thank goodness. There was a ton of traffic in New Jersey and Maryland, but I expected this much the Sunday following Thanksgiving. I spent the first couple hours of the ride writing my Capstone Reflection for my final portfolio. It all felt really...final...as if it was all already over. It really began to hit me-- I only have eleven days left here. It feels like weeks ago that my Mom helped move me in. I wish I could slow time down and make these eleven days last longer than I know they will. There is still so much to do here. I have only four days left of work. I have to finish my portfolio. I have to take my final exam Thursday morning. Thursday evening Brianna and I are giving a presentation at the Alumni Holiday Party. Next Monday is Commencement -- the end of our program. I am determined to finish all of my work and get to checking away at my bucket list for just a little while longer.

 

"One's destination is never a place, but rather a new way of looking at things"

- Henry Miller

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