Have you ever come across a person, instantly hit it off with them and wonder where they’ve been your entire life?
I can say I’ve been lucky enough to come across two of them in the last few months. Unfortunately, one of them I met about a month before she was moving 480 miles away from Madison.
I had briefly met Whitney in the spring at the Madison Marathon, and then for some reason never encountered her again until the fall marathon where we exchanged a few words in passing. Winter came and our company had been contracted to a race series all across the country, but mainly the Midwest.
I looked briefly at the staffing schedule and realized we were the only two girls going, so I knew we’d be rooming together. I’m always really scared to room with people who don’t really know me because of the fact that they probably think I’m a lil’ weird. Off to Ohio we went. Luckily we were put in the fun vehicle. By the end of the eight hour car ride, we were laughing uncontrollably together and I knew we’d be okay.
Being the only two females there, I tried to keep a conversation going and I probably ended up annoying her more than anything that weekend. By the end of that night, I knew I’d be okay, and that she was a wonderful person. Those 3:30 am wake up calls are hard to begin with. They’re even harder when you stay up until like 1 in the morning, laying in the dark talking about everything. In defense, those are the best talks.
The next day, we were already over the whole event and were counting down the hours until we’d be on our way home. At some point during the afternoon pizza was delivered and we were hungry enough to eat it. We were sitting on the floor in the back room of the hotel conference room eating our pizza among all of the volunteers. Whitney and I were just sitting there talking about random things and probably complaining about a few things as well. This little girl who was volunteering kept asking us questions about random things like if this was our job and if we had to go to school and various others. The little girl looked at us and simply asked “are you guys best friends?” and Whitney and I looked at each other and we kind of just said basically. Whitney gave her an explanation along the lines of “when you’re stuck in a hotel room with someone for a weekend you kinda of become best friends.” How true that would become.
We again, stayed up way too late for our way too early alarm just talking in darkness. All the things that we talked about made me realize how alike we are and how great she was. By the time that we got back from Ohio, I knew I’d be friends with Whitney for a long time. That week we were texting non-stop and talking about anything and everything. The next weekend the crew was traveling to Indy for another race in the same series. I was not scheduled to go to that race, and we were doing everything in our power to get me to go but Thursday rolled around and it was official – I wasn’t going to Indy. Well Stacy was supposed to go but had a unfortunate accident at the bars Thursday night and I ended up taking her place to Indy that weekend at the last minute. Boy am I glad I did. Don’t get me wrong; I would have loved for Stacy to be there as well since Michael was going too. It would have been hella fun.
I’m not even going to talk about the ride there. Same shit, different event site is the easiest way to sum up the job of the weekend. We were dropping Whitney off at the O’Hare airport on the way home so she could fly down to her fiancé and his family for the holidays. (He’s just as great as Whitney is, and them together is even better.) By the first hour of the ride home, Whitney and I were in tears from laughing so hard at Michael and Dillon. I honestly, have never been so amused. Hands down the best road trip of my life, and I wouldn’t have traded it for another road trip. There was infomercials, accents, karaoke and many, many other entertaining things.
That next week and a half was weird not seeing her and when she got back she’d be packing and moving to KC. I’m pretty sure the whole week leading up to Whitney and Tyler moving I spent in their basement, trying to be useful but was probably more of a distraction and I’m sure Tyler hates me for the distraction I was to Whitney trying to be productive. I didn’t know it was possible to bond with someone so well so fast. At one point I looked at Whitney and asked “can you imagine the damage we could have done?” and she fired back “Just think of all the damage we can do now.”
Last night I said goodbye to Whitney as she left this morning to the new chapter in her life. It was a quick goodbye because the tears were starting to surface but I would have loved a bit longer of a hug, but I’ll take what I can get. I’m so thankful that technology is so advanced that I can press a button and see her face instantly and be able to talk to her all day if I wanted while being able to do other things. I got a FaceTime call tonight after she had made it. I’m lucky enough to be seeing her in a few weeks, but after that it’ll be a few months. She’s such a good role model as corny as that sounds, but I’m so glad that we were stuck in the terrible state of Ohio and mediocre city of Indy together. I wish you, Whitaker and Ty the best of luck. Love you guys.