The secret is to keep breathing

The following fourteen posts are the story of a two week journey through the USA, documenting the struggles I have with travelling alone internationally, playing ultimate while managing incredibly low days of depression, and the time spent with 30 or so Wildcats, supporters, and family.

Day 1. 8/07/2018: Today I landed in the USA, in Dallas, knowing I had one hour to clear customs, retrieve and re-check my luggage, proceed through customs again, and get to the gate my next flight was departing from. Needless to say, it didn’t happen. Having left Sydney late, only to find more delay while in midair, and my Dallas to Minneapolis flight having left early meant I was never in with a chance of even finding the gate, let alone boarding the flight. Thankfully the lovely American Airlines attendant informed me that QANTAS had already rebooked me on a later flight. This new flight meant four extra hours in Dallas while tired and hungry, and, perhaps paradoxically, with no energy to remedy either state.

It took me two and a half hours of sitting and staring into space to be mentally capable and physically able to retrieve and eat food. For me this is a sign of depression digging in, my inability to motivate myself to do something as important as eat. After managing to eat, this source of energy provided just enough motivation for a quick stretch and rolling session to be able to cope on the next flight. Or so I thought.

I was one of the last passengers to board the flight and found myself struggling to find space for my bag in the overhead lockers. The passenger in the window seat of the row I was in said to pass him his slightly smaller backpack so I could put my bag in its space. This gesture became even more gracious as once I sat down I realised the three of us were all relatively broad shouldered and long legged. He had virtually no space under his seat for hours legs. It was perhaps the most uncomfortable I have been on a short haul flight even though all three of us were trying our best to accommodate each other’s spacial requirements.

At 21.00 local time this flight landed and phase one of warmup week began. A ride from our billet, who lives close to Minneapolis-St Paul airport later, and Bowser got to kart some Mario with Bogus. Croissants and ham were provided by Don and Ben’s supermarket run they began before my flight landed.

Muse for the day: I enjoy the activity of flying, however, I struggle travelling by myself because very seldom am I able to sleep on long haul flights. This leaves me extremely tired, without energy to find food or deal with unavoidable changes in travel plans. Many people might think the abundance of food retailers in airports would make obtaining food no problem. For me, after potentially lower quality airline food, I need to find a place that provides quality sustenance as my metabolism can’t provide effective energy from fatty, fast food.


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