Made A New Friend and Got A New Stitch!

14 01 2012

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I am tired, but I feel like I have put some good into the world!

The Bus Roulette found me trotting on the Expo bus. The gal who was counting people laughed because it was the third time she had seen me: going to/from the race and then to the expo. She said I could probably hop a Downtown Disney bus from there. I didn’t think so, but plopped my butt thinking I could take a shuttle to the Pop Century and check it out.

On the bus were a couple of TNT folks: a pretty blonde girl attached to her phone in front of me and a good looking guy in a ballcap across the asile. Usually, TNT folks travel with their whole team or in clumps, but these two were flying solo. Since they were both TNT, I figured I would point out the packet pick-up and maybe see them again in passing.

We all have our vanities. I have more than I would admit to in this forum. I have to face facts with my hearing. I have holes in it here and there. I know I am not in the business anymore, but it isn’t anything I want to accept. I bring this up because I realized as Art was telling his story, I was half depending on a bit of lip reading.

Lip reading gets me in trouble. In this case, I kept calling Art “Alex.” His story was fascinating. I won’t repeat it here because it isn’t my story to repeat. I can say that usually guys in ballcaps have a real problem with eye contact or eyes really being seen. In just the bus conversation, I realized he has absolutely no problem with eye contact! In fact, by the time we got off the bus, I didn’t see the cap anymore.

I think the reason the bus roulette had me going to the Expo was to meet my new friend Art.  He had aggrivated an old lifting injury and didn’t have his race paperwork. He was in more pain than he was admitting to, I think.

We lost the pretty girl to a phone call so Art was stuck with me on a second wind. Poor man! We got his waiver and he looked me straight in the eyes saying “Why do you call me Alex? My name is Art!” Oh crap!

Tomorrow is going to be Art’s first half marathon. He got his number and we checked to verify that it was him before we went to get his shirt. He had that look I get when I am hiding pain, but he kept going. He was meeting his TNT mentor at the expo, but had no clue as to what kind of zoo the second part of the expo was.

I got the feeling if his back was better, he would have wandered the expo, but it wasn’t an “a” priority. I was wondering on the race shirt fit because he is a big guy – but everything was going his way!

Wow! A nice person?! What a novel thought. Then I met Charlene and realized my race was made! I met two nice people – and they didn’t mind me being around! In fact, they invited me to stay!

Charlene had one thing she wanted to look at and I just had the drop in at the sock booth. I wasn’t dragging a new friend over to the Chiquita booth in hopes of bananas.  Photos and silliness, but Art was in pain. I had my Dr Hoy’s in my room and he needed it more than me. Charlene had to find the TNT booth. Before she left, I asked her to take a pinky promise — that Art would be smart in his first race … something hard for a guy … and probably harder for me!

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I have no dobt that this guy is going to hold to it. I hope he does!

So, we toodled off from the expo back to the resort. We have some similarities in our professional background and, for me, that is really rare. I also realized, again, how good his eye contact is. I have to work on that!

I dropped stuff off at my room and although I was feeling tired, I went to Downtown Disney. Sitting on the bus listening to conversations I saw a lot of race stereotypes which would have been fun to make quiet comments with Zach. He was funny that way.

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I wandered about feeling pretty good. I didn’t need anything. If something came to me, it would.

I didn’t remember the left handed store at Disney.  I saw my favorite Lego dragon. People watching was nice. I found my Travel Stitch and was happy.

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It was either take the boat floating up to the Port Orleans resorts or go wandering through the animation shop. Boat would be nice to share and I fly solo – maybe too much.

Most people laugh that I always have a book in my hand. I saw a poster that was waaaaaaaay out of my price range of Stitch reading a book in a drawer. Like I would find an affordable print.

I sit here content on a bus going back to Coronado Springs a lot richer than I left: two new friends, a travel Stitch, and a poster of Stitch in a tube!

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