It was pouring rain, and even the word pouring is an understatement. I had never experienced hurricane weather, and I definitely got a taste of it that day in Texas. We were now in the midst of a hurricane, and for us this meant that we needed a new plan.
We parked at the gym where James was going to be swimming, and everyone was discussing what we were going to do. We figured James should get started on his swim, and while he swam, we would come up with a new plan. Aaron started setting up James’ bike, on a trainer, poolside. I turned and looked out the window to the outdoor pool. The wind was blowing like crazy, bending trees, blowing umbrellas, sliding chairs, and swirling the rain every direction. We definitely don’t get this kind of weather in Utah. The employee at the gym was working on getting permission to let us spend the day inside, using their facility; we were hoping that this simple solution would work out, even though their seemed to be some kinks. The kids were asleep in the RV, and I hoped that the dynamic weather wouldn’t wake or upset them.
The resolution was to move James upstairs with his bike. I decided everyone else could sort this out, I was going to go get the kids up and figured out what we were going to do for the day. They were all still asleep, so I organized a few things in the RV as they woke up one-by-one. The RV was shaking from the wind outside, and I tried to imagine what it would be like to ride a bike or run in this weather! I searched around the RV, trying to find something to feed them. Still no fridge, so most of the things we had were packaged, like nuts and crackers. They picked at the snacks, but were hungry for a real breakfast; after all, they had been snacking on those foods for several days now and were tired of them. I always kept apples and bananas, but they went fast, so there was no fresh fruit this day. Everyone got dressed and we headed inside to see what the update was.
The consensus was to stay there and do the event in the gym. James went upstairs into an open area and set up his bike. People who had planned to bike with him, got trainers and set up their bikes. We all ate breakfast at the cafe, enjoying the convenience of having it right there. Everyone rode bikes and hung out for the day. It was very simple, the Wingmen could nap and just put everything that James needed right next to him. Later, James hopped on a treadmill to get his run started.
This gym was fancy, so it was a great day for me and the kids. We didn’t get to see much of Texas, but down days like this were always welcome. I took them swimming and then they spent quite a bit of time on the rock climbing wall. I even had employee-helpers for the second round of rock climbing! With the cafe right there inside, we could grab food when we were ready for it. And on top of all of these conveniences, we were able to go upstairs and spend time with James, all throughout the day, for the first time since the 50/50/50 started.
Later in the day, the kids and I went to Target to get our souvenirs. Shopping at Target was fantastic because I could send them in a group, then I could go to other parts of the store and grab the things that I needed. This gave me a few minutes alone, as well as saved time. They could take as much times as their hearts desired today. We had no driving time, and no one else was moving to a different location; everything was right there at the gym. When we were finished, it was still pouring rain and howling wind. I ran out and pulled the car up to the door, the wind made this rain not fun.
When evening was approaching, the weather had a break, so they were able to do the 5k outside. It was nice for James to be able to mix it up a bit, running on both the treadmill and outside. There were probably 30 people there to run the 5k, and we even had a couple of people from Utah. This 5k was far more social than they had been in the past. People were laughing and engaging while they waited in the parking lot to start the run. This made our crew very happy; it was exactly what he had hoped for.
Some days were so intense; a day like this helped me pull it all back together. The crazy weather in Texas was a tender mercy. Having everything in close quarters made the kids easy to manage, James’ day easy to manage, rest for the Wingmen, and the simplicity of never moving the RV. The van happened to be there for the day, so I didn’t have to unload and load The Little White Mazda. Also, being able to see James throughout the day was such a treat. Texas was awesome, and we loved it!
With Texas came new resistance in this journey. This was the beginning of the on-line ‘trolls’ that came after us for the rest of our journey. We didn’t realize the intensity of ‘haters’ that we would get through our journey, and it started that night in Texas.