Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve been MIA since the beginning of September, but cut me some slack. I’ve been hibernating since I got home from Nationals.
September in a nutshell: OMG it’s almost Nationals! Fly to Nationals! Compete in Nationals! Have an amazing time! Fly home! Go back to work! Suffer through inevitable post-Nationals letdown/hangover/funk/blues. Realize “oh crap I never wrote anything for Blue Skies about it!” Get a request from dropzone.com to write it up for them. Feel torn between staying loyal to my fair readers here or expanding my horizons so more people can read my ramblings. Get over it, and decide dropzone.com gets the more serious writeup of the Nationals experience, and Blue Skies Mag gets the weird shit. Win win!
So… the weird shit. I dunno, I’m kinda the “early to bed early to rise” type, especially when there’s 7 a.m. calls to be had. I’m sure there were late-night shenanigans, but I wasn’t part of them (though one of our team shirts did have an interesting visit to a local, uh, “dance” establishment, where it was worn by one of the, uh, performers. But that’s a story for another day.)
I got to ramble a little (1:30 mark) on Skydive TV, whose host has the remarkable Energizer Bunny enthusiasm required for the job; a level of energetic happiness that I don’t think I could maintain for more than 10 seconds, let alone through two weeks worth of covering the competition!
There was that killer game of four square going on when I arrived on the rainy Friday before 4-way. And you thought it was just a washed-up social networking experiment that fell apart when people realized that maybe there was more to life than being the “Mayor” of the Carl’s Jr. This, on the other hand, was the action-packed live playground version, complete with green rubber balls (yeah, I know, it shoulda been red), and champion skydivers risking injury throwing themselves against concrete to stop the ball from escaping.
But yeah, truth be told, other than the usual fickle Midwestern weather, Nationals was exactly what you hope Nationals will be – a smoothly run competition where everyone gets to show off their stuff, have fun, and reconnect with their friends from across the country. No fuss, no muss, no drama… and this year pretty much delivered.
My team pretty much delivered, too. If you’ve been together for a while and training, you go to Nationals pretty much knowing where you are, what your averages have been, and you hope that you perform up to (or even exceed) that level. The likelihood of outperforming is slim; the possibility of under-performing is, I suppose, somewhat higher, since the mental head games that you play with yourself can cause a team that performs well in practice to crumble in the heat of competition.
But that wasn’t us – we might have flown a hair more conservatively than we’re capable of, but we also didn’t fly sloppy. We had a few busts, but most of our rounds were squeaky clean. We scored pretty much exactly where we should have expected to, given where we were at the end of our training. Most of all, we had a good time and continued our season-long streak of no team drama. Having seen my share of team meltdowns, that’s not to be under-appreciated!
So there you have it … the Nationals scoop that didn’t fit in that other article.