Starting the Journey – January 20th
I was supposed to leave for Brazil Friday night at 9:30 and since theres a 4 hour time difference and a 10 hour flight, I would arrive around 12:45 on Saturday. But as Friday approached, so did a snow storm with the weather guru’s predicting 4-8 inches. In the morning ohare had already cancelled 300+ flights and delayed many more. I was unsure what the snow had in store for me and whether or not I would make it out on time, if at all. Friday afternoon, I checked the united website and they had a travel advisory / waiver for people traveling on/out of ORD so you could change your flight for free. I thought my flight would most likely have no chance of hitting the sky so decided to try my luck elsewhere. I called and they booked me on a flight leaving Saturday at 5:30 heading to Newark then to SP. Great, the storm is most likely gonna hit Newark as well, perhaps that was a bad idea.
Monday – San Jose dos Campos
Monday morning, Norbert and I were going to venture outside of the city to visit another climber and friend of his who he met while doing a climb in Dubai. When I got to breakfast, I saw Christina Bonacina, Valentina Belotti and Fabio Ruga, all Italians and Omar Bekali from Belgium. I was instantly intrigued by Bekali because he brought his own jar of peanut butter and Ruga came with his own honey, these are my kinda people!
Tuesday – Sneak Peak of the Abril Tower
Wednesday – Time to Conquer the Pain
floor 24 but would be climbing all the way to 27, the last stop in the stairwell. So there would only be 1 floor of marble steps. This kinda threw us for a loop; I had to readjust my mindset and what I wanted to do. At least now I knew that I wouldn’t miss the exit!
The elite girls gathered in the starting area and I watched the girl in front of me running towards the door, I thought to myself oh geez, shes running too slow, im gonna have to pass her on the stairs. My time came; I toed the starting line, they announced my name and blew the horn. I took off in a dead sprint on the cobblestone street and used the metal blockades to spin myself around the tight corners on the slick floor in the lobby and I was into the stairwell.
There was no collapsing, my legs felt tired and abused but not totally ruined. I thought to myself, what just happened to my race?!? I have way too much energy and didn’t push hard enough; I was worried about what the outcome might be. would I even place in the top 3? I checked my watch 4:14, I really had no idea what that meant. I waited for the other girls to finish about after a minute or so, Valentina popped out of the stairwell followed by a Brazilian girl with Christina not too far behind. I tried to do the math in my head to see how we all finished. Christina – 4:36 and Valentine – 3:55. I couldn’t figure out what time the Brazilian girl had, I checked her number to determine her starting position. Christina said we were the top 3, Valentina, me and her. Awesome, a sweep by the foreigners but we were still eager and nervous to see the final results!
Thursday – Traveling Home
It was a long day traveling back to Chicago. I had a 7 hour flight to Panama, a 2 hour layover then a 5-5.5 hour flight to Chicago. Was suppose to arrive home at 11:00 pm but we got in early due to some tailwind which is always pleasant.