(I started writing this the week after the meet but published it much much later. 3 weeks or so actually. Oops) On Saturday, the Penn State club gymnastics team had our first meet of the season in Syracuse, NY. But let me hold off on the actual meet for a minute and tell you all about how long it took us (the car I was in anyway) to get there.
How long you ask? Eight hours. (If you were wondering, it’s supposed to take us 4 hours).
See, for this meet, we took separate cars, each packed full. No extra seats (this will be important later). My car left at 3:00, which was the plan. We were cruising along for a good two hours, cramped and hot, but were were eating potato chips so it was ok.
Then the car stopped working. Out driver pulled over on the left shoulder and called triple A. We sat on this shoulder for quite some time and, while waiting for a tow truck, we had some visitors. This first guy backed up for a good 50 feet. He had a flashing light on his rear dash so we thought he might’ve been a cop. Then he stepped out in jeans and a batman tshirt. He came over and asked if we were ok and we said we were fine and he left. The second guy was an actual cop. He pulled over and asked usual cop stuff and we told him we couldn’t move and then he lit flares for us.
This was around 6:40. While we were waiting, I get a text from my mom asking how the ride is going. Or older her that the car wouldn’t start an we were pulled over on the left shoulder and we’d called triple a and everything. Being the typical worried mother who just found out a car load of gymnasts was stuck halfway between state college and syracuse, she offered to come pick us up and take us the rest of the way. Part of me knew this was an empty gesture and I didn’t really want to make her drive all the way to Scranton to pick us up and take us but I also knew that she would do it. And, we had no other option. (my mom is a real hero) About 20 minutes later, the first tow truck showed up. This guy must’ve been out of sorts or something because he came over and asked if anyone named ‘Rebecca’ was in our car. There wasn’t. Then our tow truck driver comes over to the car and and is like, ‘hey I got this go find the person your actually supposed to tow’. So that happened. He asked us if we had a ride for ourselves since he certainly couldn’t fit us (five girls plus luggage) in his tow truck and triple A couldn’t make arrangements for our quantity of people (seriously?). The guy gets all huffy at us because we didn’t have a ride. Then he comes back, leans over and says, “ok, here’s what I’m gonna do. This is really illegal and I’ve only done it one other time with a state trooper…”. And then he walks away, leaving us uninformed about this illegal activity we were about to partake in. We watch him hook up the car to the tow rig and then-wait for it- he proceeded to tow us, while we were in the car! This was quite exciting. He drops us off at this super seedy gas station with all of our luggage piled up on the sidewalk.
There we sat, waiting for my mother to come rescue us. Luckily, I hade my trusty ukulele! An hour and a half later, my come came, welcomed with joyous whoops. The rest of the ride was, thankfully, uneventful. We arrived at 11 pm in Syracuse safe and sound. So we left at 3pm and arrived at 11pm. But I gotta say, it is a good story. (Shout out to my amazing mother who drove us up, stayed for the meet, then drove us back to State College! I love you!)