The boys dragged their tired bodies into the locker room of the Swim Seventy. I sulked, like a big fat baby, as I walk into the women’s locker room alone. James was struggling so much, I really wished I could have offered any love, support, or assistance to him as he started his day. I got out to the pool much faster than the guys, naturally, and hopped into the water. This pool was awesome, clean, big and the water was cool. I just love swimming so much, and there is something about hitting the cool water that makes me forget my stresses, as I feel a zing through my entire body and soul!
I swam to the other end, and there was a news crew setting up their things. They interviewed me sometime during that morning, and of course they were filming and interviewing James. I swam a few laps, and then Casey entered the pool with his signature move. He charged in full force, legs spread eagle, and spins back to see the looks on our faces. His face was smeared with a huge smile! Casey’s splash is always one to turn heads, he pops up with a cheer and a, “Goooood morning everyone!” James rolls his eyes and got into the pool. He loves us, even when he wants to punch us for being so annoying. I can’t help but to engage in Casey’s behavior and before I know it, I am reinvigorated and ready for another day. James began his swim, with a few fellow swimmers in different lanes, and our day in Connecticut had officially begun.
After several laps of swimming, our hearts begin to beat quickly and swell with love, as we saw Brittany and Parkins come through the doors, two of our dear friends from Utah. They were invested for 10 days of the strangest adventure they would ever experience. We were all excited to see them, and I felt a huge sense of relief. Brittany was close to my family, and we knew that she was coming to do what she could to lift our burdens.
I jumped out of the pool to spend time with our friends, including Brian, from Zyto. Brian was such a great addition to our journey, being that he is a calming guy, soft spoken, but has a great sense of humor. I ran in to shower quickly, so I could be done before James finished, and when I came back to the pool, James was about done with his swim. Into the ‘secret room’, aka men’s locker room, the guys went and prepped for the bike. We went outside to see how Aaron was doing, getting all of the bike stuff ready.
The sun was shinning and it was a beautiful day. The states out east are absolutely beautiful! I am blown away at how much diversity we have in the landscape of our country. We are very blessed to have the ability to move to and fro, from each of these landscapes, as much as we please. The green trees were radiant, and they created an immense amount of shade that we would enjoy throughout the day.
James ate food, lots of it, gave the riders a pep talk, because of safety issues we had discovered throughout our journey, and they were off. We sat in the shade for a bit, exchanging stories, and just enjoying the fact that as friends we were together again. Parkins had gone with James on the bike. He is my birthday buddy, we were born on the same day, in the same year. Up to this point, we were spending every morning together working out. Brittany is a family friend, and not only do we see her every morning for workouts, but we spent a lot of time together socially. It was so amazing to have these familiar faces show up to cheer us on. Brittany and I had so much to talk about, exchanging stories from the last month.
We knew that today would be more of a down day, having our friends arrive, and by the way the day was going. We headed out to Whole Foods to do some shopping. I needed to get James more fuel for his days, as well as grab some fresh produce for the RV. And, Casey was about to be surprised with a few cold milks! I bought some ice so that I could get 2-3 milks for a cooler, then they would last a couple of days.
Brian helped me drive people to the store, and we loaded up on food. I love health food stores so much! I could seriously hang out in a health food store the way that people hang out in a mall. It makes me feel so happy! I love the smell, I love seeing the beautiful colors of the produce, and there are so many things to look at! I am a junky for herbs, oils and and helping the environment, so I could spend hours looking at all the different things offered!
I went to check out, felt in my purse for my wallet, dug around, and then looked in..no wallet! I had $250 worth of stuff, and I had no wallet!!! It had been taken from my purse, by the unnamed Wingman that is my swimming buddy, and placed next to the driver seat in the RV when he was getting gas. Of course, I was sleeping when he got gas and had no idea that I had been robbed, per se. Brian saved lives that day and bought my groceries. When I got back to the RV, I paid Brian back, once I had relocated my cute, yellow wallet. But first, I endured a laughing session with Casey and Aaron when I told them the story!
Now that we had extra people, I NEEDED the van. So I said, “Um, I need the van back. We have 8 people now, and we can’t all fit in the same car to do things together.” There was a look of, “Oh Shiz,” on the face of the van user. A jumbled, “Oh, uh, okay…” moment. I kind of felt bad, because I didn’t want to rock the boat anymore. I had tried the entire journey to not rock the boat, and at times, it was impossible! There are two sides to every story, so I have made sure that my side collaborates with other peoples, to make sure I am not crazy…
We spent a good part of the afternoon switching cars. Once we started removing items from the van, I realized how much stuff the ‘van holder’ had. When it was put into the Mazda, and didn’t fit, I knew why they wanted the van as long as they could have it. Also, there was some concern about driving a stick (in the Mazda). It didn’t take long for them to figure it out. I respect that, in some regard, but I needed the van at this point. It took a couple of hours to get everything transferred, and I was super excited that I now had the van and no longer had to smoosh everyone into the Mazda!
On days like this one, there were a lot of people in and out of the RV. When we are just chillin’ and we aren’t going out for the day, the RV takes a bit of use abuse. It gets super messy, and the septic gets full fast. In New England, there weren’t a lot of places to dump the RV, so it was a huge stress. The RV was packed in CT, the air was blasting all day, people napping in it, and just a lot of traffic.
We decided to hang out under a big tree, with a ton of shade, to prevent being on top of each other in the RV. We had camping chairs, and the shade was perfect. Everyone was working on tasks: emails, posts, inventory for shirts, etc. The kids ran around and enjoyed this beautiful day. Parkins had gone out with James on the bike, and when they had come back, he informed us that James was having an absolutely terrible day!
James dragged his feet in starting the run. He ate an entire container of cut up watermelon, just visiting with all of us. I can’t remember if this was in transition or if it was after the 5k. But he was as excited to see our friends as I was. He sat and enjoyed their company.
Off they went for the 5k, lots of people and a young boy that James will remember forever. Brittany helped me prep the RV after it had been ‘very used’ all day. Outside we could hear them when they returned. We went out to greet them. James took pictures and visited for a bit. He took off to finish the run, with several people who had stayed to help him get through the last part, including our friend Kyle Woodruff’s brother-in-law, who lives in CT.
We continued prepping the RV until late. We soon could hear laughing and cheering and went outside. There were headlamps shinning everywhere, and we knew they must be done. James expressed his appreciation for everyone who contributed, and came into the RV.
All the kids piled up above the driver seat and passenger seat. We had found a secret bed, but not until half-way into our journey, above the two front seats that we could electronically move down. It was designed to only work when there was no one driving. We had figured out how to use it when we were driving. We would turn the RV off, and had mastered how far to move it down for people to fit up there to sleep, and still be able to see out the front window. The kids were up there, coming up and down a million times to get things, get a drink, etc. Rivers massaged James for a bit, but was having a hard time staying awake. We tapped him out, and Brittany and I went to work on him. We worked opposite sides as James ate food, and tried to stay awake to finish what he was eating.
Soon enough, I too was ready to tap out. I went back into a twin bed and crashed. Brittany continued working on him for a bit longer, than came back and climbed into the twin bed with me. We figured that if we slept opposite directions, we would fit best. Soon, everyone was asleep, except our trusty Wingmen who drove us to our next location, Rhode Island.