Fresno was a blur. Bucket loads of images come to mind when I think of Fresno. There was the bus ride there, where everyone was in their zone, listening to music, sleeping, and tons of embarrassing pictures. A stop for a bathroom break, and I ran over Sam’s foot with a shopping cart, not a good idea right before state. We got to the hotel, and I was the leader of all the girls dancing like idiots through the hallways. We danced, we jumped on the beds, and we explored the hotel. I felt bad about Sam’s foot, so Chrystal and I took a bag of ice up to his room. He tried to get us to play strip poker. We raced away down the halls laughing at the idea, and then shut ourselves in our room to watch a movie. I remember being tempted at the idea- I wanted to make this trip a memory, but being naked in front of a guy who wants to fuck me doesn’t sound on the path to getting over him.
The guys gradually found our room, and joined in on our bed jumping. I felt bad Sam was the only one who didn’t know where our room was, so I told him where we were.
From then on, it was a war zone. We had an incredibly competitive game of spoons, which Sam and I tied for, and somewhere along the way a teradaptle was drawn on my leg. Sam kept correcting everything I said, and commenting on how stupid everything that came out of my mouth was, but I found the strength to ignore it. I remember the idea of sneaking out to the hot tub was mentioned, and the guys leaving, Sam sneaking a last, “Hey, when I come back, I expect to see you naked” to me before he shut the door.
Then, the girls debated breaking some rules and having fun, versus getting caught and punished. We figured this was for the experience, and went for it. We got lost trying to find the hot tub the first attempt. When we found it, we were about to open the door, and on the other side of the glass was our coach, she was pissed, we got followed back to our room for a long lecture.
The next day was the race. The girl’s race was first. I remember a long line, the gunshot, the hot weather and pushing myself to a point I could be proud. I didn’t finish last, so in my book I won. I remember the guy’s race, and their short shorts that show off their great leg muscles. I remember the vibe of the entire race. Thousands of people cheering for their team, warming up, parents supporting their runners, explosions of excitement, and everyone there because of their passion for running. I couldn’t help but wear the biggest smile.
I remember seeing Sam in the race, suffering along with all the other guys struggling to finish. I remember beaming at him, caught in the moment, and him somehow finding me among the masses of people, returning the smile and picking up his pace. I remember him finishing the race, and looking for me, I remember finding him, and him reaching out his arms and pulling me in, a hot sweaty embrace only those true running lovers come to adore.
After the race we went to the cheesecake factory. He sat next to me when we were waiting; we sat next to me when we were seated. Someone took a picture of us laughing together.