At 1:11pm on 11/11/11 (for pneumonic's sake), I was half-awake and knuckle deep in an unidentifiable foramen of a plastic skull in skeletal anatomy class. It was Friday, I was a week and a half from Thanksgiving break, and the reason I had chosen to go "back to school" was already a fuzzy blur at only week 7 of 11 in quarter 1 of 13 in chiropractic school. I swear I was about conjure up the name of that foramen when I suddenly felt an all-too-familiar vibration in my front right jeans pocket. With the new schedule including 28 units, my phone had filled with such constant alerts and messages that I felt phantom phone vibrations even in the shower. I felt my Pavlovian response, sans drool, take over before I could even think about trying to resist looking. I slid the phone out quietly, carefully maintaining it in the imaginary shadows cast by the professor at the front of the lab. This was a much welcomed brain break. It was from Rett Larson, a good friend and although I didn't know it at the time, the Project Manager for Athletes' Performance in China. It wasn't until halfway through the text that my sympathetic nervous system kicked on;
"I'm at AP (Athletes' Performance) brainstorming my dream team to take to China and your name came up."
<cue dilated pupils & increased heart rate>
"Any chance you want to pause school and come on this 10-month adventure with Joshua and me?"
I thought something like, "Foramenrotundumforamenlacerumholycrapforamenovaleforamenmagnum." Fight or flight indeed.
I responded, "I'm going to call you ASAP, my friend. I'm smiling right now."
And thus began my adventure with the Chinese Olympic Team.