On The Road Again…..

Hello, Friday!! Let me tell you, today couldn’t have come at a better time, it has been a LONG week! This week’s pondering is about road trips. Not the kind from college where you loaded 5 people into a compact class car on a whim and drove all night until got to wherever you decided to go. Not the kind where you and your spouse pack up the car, leave the kids at grandma’s and spend a weekend alone together with no cell service (how amazing does THAT sound though?!). I’m talking about ROAD TRIPS. What’s the difference between road trips and ROAD TRIPS you may ask? Well, let me give you an example.

My hubby, the Coach, and his band of merry men (otherwise known as the football team) have been road warriors in October. Now, I realize that it’s only the 17th and October is really only half over, but stay with me. Counting this weekend’s adventure, our football players and coaching staff will have spent about 14 hours on planes, 66 hours on busses and traveled about 5,600 miles. Before the month of October comes to a close, they will travel ANOTHER 1875 miles and spend ANOTHER 30 or so hours on a bus. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s 14 hours by plane, 96 hours by bus and 7,475 total miles. I don’t care how you break it down, that’s A LOT of miles. They will have traveled through South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, California, Washington and into Canada. Later this month they will go back through Wyoming, Colorado and into Utah. That’s after another trip at the end of September where they traveled 26 hours round trip and traveled around 1600 or so miles through South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri. 10 states and 2 countries all in about 6 weeks.

I know what you’re thinking; football teams travel all the time. This is nothing new and besides, it’s not like they didn’t know what they were signing up for. And I would agree with you! For the most part. This is travel at an unprecedented level. At the beginning of October, they went to Northern California. It was 30 hours, one way. On a bus. Because the cost to fly was NOT in the budget. They left on Thursday and got back at 3:00 am Monday morning. That’s significant for a lot of reasons. The most obvious of which is the players missed 2 full days of classes and then had to operate on only a couple of hours sleep. I know that’s not unusual for kids of that age, but have you ever tried to sleep on a bus? Yeah, no bueno. The second reason getting home in the middle of the night is significant is the coaching staff missed an entire day of work. Sundays are a full day of film, game planning, meetings, etc. You can’t do a lot of that on a bus nor do you want to. When you’re having the kind of year like we are (not a fantastic one), it just adds to everyone’s stress. To add yet another wrinkle to this already bizarre season, there is no bye week in our schedule. I’ve never considered them before, but now I see how critical a bye week is to a team. It’s time for players to heal up, get some treatment on their injuries, take a few days off to catch up on school work or sleep and just decompress and get ready for the rest of the season. For coaches, it’s much needed family time. I didn’t realize how important that was until this season. My husband brought me flowers yesterday for no reason at all and I absolutely lost it. I knew this season had me stressed, but I had no idea HOW stressed until I burst into tears over grocery store flowers. 🙂

Finally, and this is sort of selfish of me, we just flat out miss my husband! My girls don’t see dad much anyway during the season. He’ll walk them to school whenever he can and that might be the only time they get with him for that day. If he gets home “early” (early is defined in coaching as before 8:00 pm), we try and get ice cream or make dinner as a family in between soccer practice, games and gymnastics practice. We get our Friday night date nights at high school games (I blogged about that a few weeks ago, here) but we don’t get any just us time. We usually catch up on sports highlights and talk about our days whenever he gets home, which I wouldn’t trade for the world, but our time together is almost non-existent, especially this season.

For now, the dog and I will enjoy having the entire bed to ourselves and I will enjoy falling asleep to my true crime shows instead of SportsCenter. I will treasure not getting up to an alarm on Saturday morning and being home to watch college football all day instead of racing from game to practice to game to dinner, but we will miss him. And yes, in a few short weeks I will probably be writing about how much I miss all of this madness and how my husband is annoying me and I can’t wait for the next recruiting trip! But today, in this moment, I’m ready for a slow down.

Have a safe, happy weekend all!