I spent this last weekend in Tacoma, for my first collegiate track meet. For everyone who will never have the opportunity to experience a team road trip as a Yote, this is basically how it works for the track team:
1. Wake up early on Friday morning, get on the bus. If you are me, you will think about how important it is to not sleep through your alarm, so that you have a dream about sleeping through your alarm, so that when it happens in real life you think it's just another dream, and then actually wake up 5 minutes before the bus leaves.
2. Sleep on the bus for a few hours until the grocery stop. This is where everyone gets off the bus, overwhelms the employees of the local Safeway, wandering the aisles, buying sandwiches, gatorade, Cliff bars, bananas, bagels, chocolate milk, etc.
3. Get back on the bus to take pictures of the scenery, watch Pitch Perfect, discuss Spirit Animals and impossible hypothetical scenarios with your teammates, and sit with your Chemistry book open on your lap for a brief period of time while accomplishing nothing before accepting that homework and buses just don't get along and taking a nap instead. Repeat for 6 hours.
4. Arrive at the hotel, get room assignments, pick a bed, and change clothes. Get back on the bus ASAP to head to the track for the day's workout. Listen to Wagon Wheel on the bus. Sing along.
5. Light workout on the track, enjoying the beautiful Washington sunshine!!
6. Spend an hour in the hotel before getting back on the bus for dinner.
7. Disperse amongst different restaurants in small groups (choose Olive Garden).
8. Return to hotel. Sacrifice a pillowcase to fill up with ice for an excruciatingly cold ice bath that is way colder than the ice baths at school. Read cat facts on the internet to distract yourselves from the extreme cold/urge to cry in hopes that your tears will warm up the bath.
9. Go to bed early. Sleep like a rock.
10. Wake up for walk/jog at 8. Walk/jog is exactly what it sounds like: we walk one lap around the hotel, and then jog one.
11. Eat the hotel's continental breakfast.
12. Get on the bus to the meet.
13. Cheer for your teammates.
14. Get extremely nervous/excited.
15. Warm up.
16. Remain extremely nervous/excited.
18. Cool down, cheer for your teammates, eat food, have a team meeting. The team meeting is a recap of the meet and an opportunity to acknowledge everyone who won their events or broke records that day.
19. Get back on the bus, stop for dinner, get back on the bus to watch The Princess Bride and The Lion King.
20. Stop at a gas station for food at midnight. Spend forever deciding which specific kind of junk foods you want the most.
21. Try to sleep on the bus by putting your feet up/slouching until you are almost upside down, leaning on the window, reclining your seat very gradually over the course of several minutes so the person behind you doesn't notice, etc. Realize that no matter how you reposition yourself, your neck will be sore the next day. Opt for conversation.
22. Get back to Caldwell, check the bus for trash, get free food that went unclaimed in the coolers, and make the trek across campus to your room and sleep.
Claire is a freshman pre-engineering major from Sandy, Oregon.