Saturday, February 13, 2010

Change of Plans

Life sometimes takes 180's and it did so for me yesterday.

I woke up at 5, had a solid breakfast (to avoid airport food- first because it sucks and second because even water is priced as if it were Holy water). Then I drove to Julie's house so I could park my car there for the week as she was nice enough to take me to the airport before her morning swim.

So I get to the airpot at 6:30ish and my flight was scheduled for 8. There wasn't much of a line for United, I had all my papers, & all my lugagge...I was ready to fly to camp!

ONE EIGHTY!!!!!!!! Boom, just like that- get to the ticket counter, lady asks for my passport and visa, I show her my new passport, my H-1B worker's visa approval, etc and she says "where's your Canadian visa?". Uhhm, come again? Since when do I need a Canadian visa? I distinctly remember traveling to Vancouver in 2008 for Worlds and simply showing my TX license and Mexican passport with only a student visa for the US, not Canada.

Well, it turns out that a new rule came out in late 2009 sort of primarily aimed at Mexico for our fabulous drug shenanigans, that unless you're a permanent resident of the US or have a valid Green Card (which you can get after x # of years on an H-1B), you have to have applied and received a Canadian visa at your local Candian Consulate.

"Sorry ma'am, without it you can't travel". I call my attorney to verify and yes, it's true...I, we, was/were so concerned with having all set for my way back IN to the US that the new rule escaped the radar.

Anyway, there I was bags all packed, ready to go, sitting curbside waiting for Julie to come pick my sorry a** back up after her swim. I called my homestay in Canada, and she was really nice and understanding, and encouraged me to go to the Canadian Consulate and still try to make the camp. I smiled, but realistically, it was over. By the time I land an appt at the LOS ANGELES Canadian Consulate (if they even have an appt available for the next couple of days), apply, and receive the visa, camp will be ending or over.

However, as I sat outside the aiport, I tried to brush this ordeal off my shoulders, realizing that I'm not "stuck" somewhere horrible and losing a trip to freedom, safety. Or, on the less extreme, I'm not in a shabby training location like the Midwest. I'm in beautiful San Diego- THE mecca of triathlon, and if I have to miss out on meeting my coach, some testing and hard workouts with great athletes, so what? I can continue to work hard and train my butt off here with the incredible athletes that fill this city as well. There will be plenty of other camps, and everything- EVERYTHING- happens for a reason.

So, I proceeded to sign up for the San Dieguito Half Marathon this weekend, and planned to ride the 80 for Haiti cycling event, today (Saturday). They closed the registration for the bike ride, but as long as I don't use their aid stations or eat their post race food, then I won't feel in the wrong for riding bandit :) Heck, I'll even take my check book to make a small donation.

Well, back to the hectic day...I made it hectic because I was sort of on an adrenaline high from the sudden change of plans, that I decided to hit noon swim and ride as soon as I got home. Julie had to make a quick stop at KP's for some ART, so I ended up home at around 11:15. In literally 10min I assembled my bike, unpacked a swimsuit, cap, and goggles, and headed to 11:45 masters. It turned out to be a good swim, I even moved up a lane :D Then it was pit stop for a clif bar and meeting Caroline for a 2hr hilly-ish, but ez/steady, ride. Some gym & core later, and finally I sat down for a meal at dinner time and was in bed at 7pm. What a day!

Now, I'm off to Julie's again in a bit, only this time it's to drive east for the start of the 80mile ride!

Moral of the story- make lemonade people!!!