Imagine. Feet in the blocks. Hands and fingers crisply stretched across the painted line of the track. Heart loud. Brain wired. Eyes focused on the path ahead. Adrenaline pumping. Lungs deeply inhaling. Anticipating the crack of the gun. Run.
No. False start. Back to the starting line. Do it all over again.
I've never actually run a race on a track but I do know that when I'm in the corral for a 5K I'm all adrenaline. It's an awesome, terrifying feeling. You have to pace yourself. You can't go out too fast using all that energy or you won't have any left for the end of the race. It's all about mind over body. You have to hold back a little.
We were all set to be far from here now. All set to be well into the race. But it was a false start. We are back in the corral waiting, anticipating. We have a good place - a pillow top bed, a warm shower, a nice pool, a hot tub. But if we wake up here again - if I see that same alarm clock - I will feel like I'm in Groundhog Day, that awful movie when Bill Murray couldn't get on to the next day.
At least we have each other to stay amused in these 200 square feet. It's funny. The kids are piled on the bed watching Sesame Street that they haven't seen in years and wouldn't dare watch at home. What is about a new place that makes everything new again? I ironed the damp bathing suits from last night to try to get them ready to wear today, and Charlie says, "Mom is wire-drying the bathing suits!" He is the compound-word-maker-upper. He knows what an iron is and has seen me use it on quite a few occassions, but somehow his new term was so much more descriptive of what I was doing. Right - who irons bathing suits? So we are having fun learning about each other in more ways than would be possible at home.
And there's a major city out there to tour! We made the best of it yesterday and will again today. The sun is shining brightly, there are thousands of parks in Chicago that boast the best of everything and we'll find the best for us.
Then tonight around 8 we'll get on the road for a fresh start, driving through the night to the Badlands! Hopefully its better in the Badlands! Hopefully we are just pacing ourselves for what lies ahead, conserving our energy.