Hello from Spokane. We got to our hotel around 1am this morning but were able to sleep in until about 8:30am. After grabbing a quick breakfast, the girls and I headed outside to see our surroundings in the daylight. The hotel is surrounded on both sides by the Spokane convention center. The gymnastics meet is to the east and there is another section to the west with theaters and other meeting rooms. USA Gymnastics was hosting parent information sessions/classes in these theaters. After checking out a few cool statues and other interesting photo ops, I left the girls to continue exploring the area (it seemed pretty safe for them to be on their own) while I sat in on the first class. I’m not sure I learned very much but it was interesting to hear some of the background things that go on in Trampoline & Tumbling, as a sport.
Around noon, Erin headed to the convention center for her first training session with her coach. They stretch for 30 minutes in a staging area then, at their assigned warm-up time, their group of about 75 kids was brought out to the competition floor. She looked pretty good in all of her passes and she later reported that the equipment all felt pretty good. It is funny to hear the kids complain about issues with equipment at these meets but you would hope for a national meet the equipment would be in top and consistent shape and that seems to be the case. I have no idea how things will go this weekend but I know today she looked pretty good, and that’s all we can hope for.
After she trained, we stopped and bought her a ridiculously priced sweatshirt. This same vendor is at every one of these meets and we usually just let her get a clothing item at Nationals. She has worked hard to get here and it is a good keepsake of the experience. If she were to win a medal, they can go back and add stuff to their sleeves. It is cold enough in the mornings and evenings here that at least she’ll get some use out of a heavy hoodie this week, because she sure can’t wear it after we get home. After a nice lunch at an outdoor cafe and a bit of shopping with the girls, we headed back to the hotel so they could go swimming. When we got to the front entrance, we saw that three huge semi trucks were pulling in to unload the Budweiser Clydesdale wagon and horses in front of the hotel. I thought it was funny that they were in Spokane this week as we saw them in St. Louis at Grant’s Farm last summer when we were in Missouri for Nationals. Anyway, we waited a while
but it was taking forever for them to begin to unload them so we continued on with the swimming plans. After I got them situated at the pool, I put on my running gear and Garmin and set out for a much anticipated run (in solitude) through the gorgeous surroundings. It was a bit warm when I started out but it quickly cooled off to a comfortable temperature. It was one of those great runs. I loved to see the river rapids and grassy areas. Everything was just so pretty and unique. We have very little water areas in Phoenix and definitely nothing like this. I wasn’t exactly sure where I was going but got done with the first continuous mile and then kept going. I ended up on the back side of the hotel and convention center and eventually in the parking lot of a Marriott next door. I had to run back home on some busy streets and crosswalks. But, I did end back up at the front of our hotel again and, by this time, the Clydesdales were all unloaded and hitched up to the wagon. Quite a large crowd had gathered to watch them and take pictures. They are really something to see!
I’m looking forward to other runs this week. I’ll head the other direction tomorrow and see where the river takes me. They are expecting some rain but hopefully it lets up a bit. I wouldn’t even mind running in the rain…