Future Stars

Preston has spent the last month training for first Future Stars and it was now time to travel to Sarasota, Florida for his first meet. He was super excited to combine gymnastics with something else he loves, traveling! He also considered this a real trip because we stayed in a hotel. See, we go out-of-town often, but since we usually stay with family, he doesn’t feel like it’s a trip. Another thing that really made this meet so special is that we often drive everywhere, but since this would be such a short trip, we flew. Preston had to compete Saturday morning and we didn’t want to spend our entire Friday and Sunday in a car driving. I was determined to make this trip and be okay, so I added a wheelchair to my reservation because I didn’t want to take my walker. I know that maneuvering the Atlanta airport can be a lot for a healthy person so I would definitely get winded if I tried to walk through it. Plus, I had no idea what to expect once we got to Sarasota.

It’s rare for the four of us not to travel together, but Langston had missed so much school being sick this year, that I didn’t want him to miss another day that he didn’t absolutely have to. Plus, pre-concussion, he was supposed to play in a football game on Saturday. So, Friday morning we dropped him off at school and headed to the airport. None of us have flown in a while so we had no idea that one of the parking garages had been torn down. All parking at the airport was full and after circling twice we had to park offsite. Now, in a panic and a rush, we were hurrying to find a parking spot and get to the shuttle. I was walking faster than I had in months and felt my energy quickly leaving. My husband was carrying everything he possibly could while holding Preston’s hand and it was all I could do just to make it to the shuttle. Thankfully, we were the last to get off, which gave me a little time to rest. Once inside, Kevin grabbed a wheelchair which made getting through security a lot easier. Once we arrived in Sarasota, an agent was waiting at the gate with a wheelchair and took us to the rental car checkout. This was very helpful since we had never been to this airport before, and once we got our rental car, we were on our way.

Before we got to the hotel, I received a special video text for Preston from his classmates wishing him good luck. He said the video inspired him even more to do his best. After picking up a few snacks and food, we went to the hotel and called it a night. I wanted to make sure I gave my body plenty of time to recoup, and Preston was just happy to be at the hotel. The next morning, we were up early to check-in for the meet. The location was the same from this summer’s camp, so I already knew I would have to go upstairs to find a seat and downstairs to use the restroom. I had already planned to ration my water intake. Upon arrival, we handed Preston off to his Coach and found seats up close. After the meet, we learned that Preston placed second amongst 8-year-olds and was named to the USA Men’s Gymnastics Region 8 Developmental Team. This kid continues to amaze me!

We woke up early Sunday morning to catch our red eye. The plan was to get home early enough to get ready for the week and still relax for a bit. At the rental car return, we saw a lady who warned us to check our flight before turning in our keys because her flight had been canceled. I checked and we were still on schedule, so we dropped them in the box. Once we got through security we stopped at the restroom and by the time we came out, I received a text saying our flight was canceled. Apparently, there was some big issue with Southwest and thousands of people were stranded. After more than an hour on hold, we were back in the rental car line waiting for them to open. The box miraculously popped open, and our keys and contract were still on top. We waited another hour for a representative to arrive and given the circumstances the agent was able to extend our rental at the same rate to be dropped off in Atlanta. This was a blessing considering all cars were sold out and Southwest had text to say they rescheduled use for a flight the next evening.  You guessed it, we ended up spending our Sunday in a car after all…

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Join Areia Cobb every 1st & 3rd Tuesday of the month as she shares her road to recovery from COVID-19 and how being a COVID-19 Long Hauler is affecting every aspect of her life; as a wife, mother of two active boys and a working professional.  It’s our hope that these journal entries provide hope, inspiration and information as you or your loved one travels your COVID-19 long haul.  

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