Yesterday I drove 15 1/2 hours and 1010 miles to arrive in St. Louis for my first live Visa National Championships. I pulled into our quaint hotel where I am rooming with blogging all star Blythe Lawrence. We talked gymnastics ’til the wee hours of the morning. We slept in this morning and then headed off to the Chaifetz Arena for the junior men’s competition. It is a gymnastics fan’s dream. I don’t think there are words to describe how excited I am for the next four days.
I am trying to be contained and mature, but I want to jump around like a giddy little girl. I walked in through the fan fest area, where kids were doing handstand contests, getting their faces painted and taking pictures on a cleverly constructed beam under a small Gateway to the West arch. Am I really to old to do all those things? I guarantee I will end up with my face painted and a pic under that arch by the end of the weekend. Probably with some autographs too.
The arena is actually smaller and more intimate than I was imagining. This is actually exciting for me – I waited so long to get my tickets that I have pretty bad seats. But even from these seats I will be able to see just fine. The walkway around the arena is slowly coming alive. Vendors are slowly building their boothes, fans are trickling in. The mood in the arena today is light hearted and laid back – it is the junior men after all.
I am excited to share my first live National Championships with you! Tune in all weekend!