This was my flat this afternoon:
Seeing the Olympic cyclists race past my front door was pretty surreal- as was watching the Opening Ceremonies from a pub in Trafalgar Square with 2 former teammates, heaps of Brits, and fervent fans from around the world.
Although I’m living 2 train rides away from central London and most Olympic venues, I couldn’t be in a better area for either the Games or my project. Teddington, a suburb in southwest London, is not only beautiful, safe, clean, and teeming with cute cafes; it is the permanent home of some of the UK’s best runners and the temporary training base for Olympic track teams from South Africa, Ireland, Australia, Japan, and some US runners. I’m a half-mile from the popular St. Mary’s University track and just a mile from Bushy Park, one of the Royal Parks that offers an extensive network of dirt and grass trails- and even some furry-antlered deer I mistook for Rudolf and the gang!
The thrill of the Games aside, my time in London has been incredible so far. My runs remind me of October in Texas, a far cry from the triple-digit weather I’m used to. The runners I’ve met seem nearly as excited to chat about their own experiences as I am to hear them. And the generosity I’ve been shown by total strangers- a man who gave me a fist-full of coins for a pay phone call; an Apple employee who gave me a charger for free; and my neighbor who sheltered me with an umbrella while I filmed the bike race- excite me about the year ahead and inspire me to keep the kindness rolling.