Athletics Magazine

The Flight From Hell and I'm Running!! (sort Of)

By Brisdon @shutuprun
It seems like everyone has a nightmare flying story. It may not be as bad as being sucked out of a window or landing on the Hudson, but chances are you've got one. I had (one of) mine flying back from Phoenix last week. What was supposed to be a 1 hour flight turn into 7+ hours. How does that happen, you ask?
We were delayed from the get go, leaving Phoenix almost an hour later due to Frontier crew showing up tardy style. I'm happy to say Frontier is now the new Spirit Airlines, leading the industry in crappy, soul sucking service that nickles and dimes you for every peanut and ice cube. And, then they love to delay and cancel flights just as icing on the cake. They should charge you for that too.
In the air we go and I'm still certain we'll touch down just after lunch time. That's why we brought no food! Because it's supposed to be an hour! That's why I wasn't too desparate to pee before we left. Because it will be one hour!
We approach Denver and that's when the fun began. The "flight deck" (FD) came on saying a huge storm was right over the Denver airport, so we'd have to circle for 45 minutes. That turned into at least an hour.
Finally, I guess the FD got clearance to land, so down went into the turbulent, stomach tossing stormy weather. I am a nervous flier. I do fine until things bounce and dive and shake. Then I sweat, and in this case, start cussing. Loudly. I had one hand on Emma's thigh, one on Ken's. I was digging in. With every drop of the plane, I dropped a nice F-Bomb or at least a "shit!". I've flown a ton and this was some of the worst, if not the worst, turbulence I've been in. The only thing keeping me going was that we had to be close to ground, right? Wrong.
I opened my eyes to look out and we were still high, high up over the Rockies. We continued to swoop and shake as the FD came back on. "Well, folks" the captain said in his best official voice, "We started to land in Denver right as they closed the airport. They told us to circle for another hour while we wait for it to open but we don't have enough fuel for that. So, we're going to land in Grand Junction." Sighs and chatter all around the cabin. Another F-bomb from me.
  • Fact one: I never like to hear the words "we don't have enough fuel for that" while I'm in a plane in the air
  • Fact two: If you don't know Colorado geography, Grand Junction is at the opposite end of the state.

20 minutes later and we're on the ground in Grand Junction. This is a small airport with no gates, so we are stuck on board. Someone throws up in aisle 21 (my only phobia greater than turbulent flying is vomit. Aviophobia + emetaphobia = Beth having a panic attack). Finally we can get up and pee and the aisles are full. I'd really like a beer or a whiskey or something. A stranger gives me a stale Twizzler.

The Flight From Hell and I'm Running!! (sort of)

They guy in yellow shirt's expression is how I was feeling

It has now been about 5 hours since we left Phoenix and I am starving. In true Frontier fashion, there are no free drinks or drinks even offered (well, maybe some water during hour six). Not that I'm partial or anything, but I think Southwest would've had free drinks all around. If a nothing else, that would make the passengers more relaxed and happy.
We hang on the ground in Grand Junction to learn they've closed the airport. Again. WTF with this storm?
Finally, we are on our way to Denver. We land pretty smoothly and the entire plane erupts into applause. I do too. Problem is, we're not done yet. We taxi to the gate only to wait on the tarmac for about another hour (no gates available). The kid in the row next to us throws up. Get me out of this f&cking prison already! It's now been 7 hours.
Well, we make it off the flight. It's now 7:30pm. We were supposed to land at 12:30pm. Could be worse! (my favorite expression). I could've had a connection to make! I could be traveling with a screaming baby with crap in their diaper. I, myself, could've had explosive diarrhea! God is good after all!
Moving on. Guess what? I'm running again.
Well, let's just say I'm doing a version of running. I finally got the okay a week ago to give it a shot. The plan was to walk 2 minutes, run 2 minutes up to 16 minutes. So, I donned  my cute running stuff, fired up my GPS and headed to the local lake. The anticipation and excitement was building as I broke into my first run in 7 weeks.
And, if felt like shit!

The Flight From Hell and I'm Running!! (sort of)

A pensive runner in her habitat.

It felt like I had never run before in my life. Nothing hurt, I just felt out of shape, stiff and awkward. Oh, the humble road back after being sidelined. I went the next day and did further. And, it was slightly better. Then I went to the trails on Saturday and Sunday, run/hiking for four then five miles. The trails felt a ton better on my body - maybe it's the surface, maybe it's using different muscle groups, I don't know. But, oh-so-slowly my confidence is returning.
The Flight From Hell and I'm Running!! (sort of)

The Ragnar Relay (Northwest Passage) is in ten days. I have the shortest legs (no I'm not a midget) with only a total of 13 miles. I think I can swing it. Washington is one of the few states I have not been to (others are Alaska, Hawaii, Alabama, Mississippi). We're staying on Wibdey Island, which I hear is amazing!
Tell me your nightmare flying story

Favorite airline? Southwest. We're taking Alaska Airlines to WA and I hear that's great too
How many states have you been to? 45

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