Our flight was delayed almost three hours leaving Miami, but the passengers were in high spirits. USA, Jamaica, and Germany shirts were among the few at the gate. Half of the Australian track and field team were there also. The excitement was evident through the unusual boisterous comaraderie shared among everyone. We all were Olympic bound.
Once on board, Jen and I found ourselves seated in the midst of the Aussie’s. They reminded me of my college sport days of traveling with my teammates. The eagerness, exhaustion and youthfulness tied together in matching warm ups.
Since we were delayed, I needed to sleep on the flight since we wouldn’t have chance to rest once in Rio. Soon after lift off, I slipped my heaphones on and drifted off. When I awoke, the plane was dark, its cargo all sleeping. I didn’t know if I had slept for hours or just twenty minutes. I looked at the flight map on the screen in front of me. I saw the word Amazon. I looked left, and through an open window, I saw the pre dawn stryations of orange rising from the Amazon. It hit me, I was far from home, in a different hemisphere and sitting next to the Australian shot putter. This was one of those moments that life throws at you to realize the enormity of our world and our small space within it.