The weathermen were partially right today. For the first time all week, it was actually a decent temperature outside, and also, it was not raining. We were all starting to get cabin fever out here, from being indoors for so long. We had some sun today, but the clouds started to roll in again mid afternoon. It was dry and warm which was good, but we got paid a visit today by someone we had not seen in awhile, our old friend the wind. Today was some of the worst wind conditions we have faced all tour long. Today's wind even rivaled what happened in Dallas during week 2 when the supports for the deck railings collapsed. This did not bode well for our show at Avon High School, but we made the most of it.
When we arrived on site, the wind was a lot worse at Avon High, than it was at our hotel. The athletes all kind of looked nervously around at one another, and the decision was made to test it out and see how it went. We had 3 assembly shows today. Each assembly was about 53 minutes, with about a 5 minute gap in between. If the wind didn't tire these guys out, the show schedule certainly would. The bell rang and the first group of students crowded around the ramp. During the warm up runs, the athletes were taking it easy and when showtime started, everybody looked a little shaky. It was a rough few minutes during the intro runs and what not. By the time i got halfway through the tobacco talking points, everybody had seemed to settle in, and found a way to deal with the windy conditions. We had a breakthrough today during our first assembly. The Marines are of course with us at every show we do. They have the pull up and chin up challenge. For the guys, see how many pull ups you can do and for the ladies, see how long you can do a chin up. The record for the tour for pull ups was 22, and the chin up record was 77 seconds. Both those records were set during week 2 of the tour in Dallas. Well today, for the first time since Dallas, both of those records were broken, and they were both broken in the same assembly!!! The new record is now 23 pull ups and 81 seconds for the chin ups.
Assembly # 1 was done, and we thought we had a few minutes to regroup, but as soon as they left, the 2nd assembly group was making their way out to the parking lot, so we had to get right back at it. Again the wind was playing games with us, but everybody settled in a little quicker this time, and the 2nd show seemed to go a lot quicker than the first one. For this assembly, I have to give props to a group of students that I nicknamed our "show cheerleaders". We ask the kids to be loud and enthusiastic during the shows, but this particular group of girls were cheering the entire show. Not only were they cheering for the show, but they were the positive reinforcement group during the trivia challenge portion of the show. I try to make it into a game and see which side of the ramp can answer the most questions related to the tobacco stuff I was talking about. Every time I would call on a student on their side of the ramp, they would chant the persons name and clap when they gave an answer. Even if it was a wrong answer, they would still clap and say, "good try, good try". I personally thought that was a pretty cool thing to do, and I've never seen that happen before. We need that kind of enthusiasm at every school we go to. It definitely made a world of difference for us.
As soon as the students for assembly # 2 headed out, sure enough the other group came out early. Now I don't know if this is because it was the final show of the 3, or because it is the end of the week, but everybody seemed to ride a little harder in the final assembly. I also have to give props to the students from this 3rd and final group, because they were definitely the loudest. Don't get me wrong, all 3 groups were awesome today, but the 3rd assembly was definitely the loudest. For their enthusiasm they were definitely rewarded. Austin did a no handed flair to end his last run, Anthony tried a tailgrab 540, Marc went for a flat spin 900, and Trevor really poured it on, because today was his last show of the tour. Koji was definitely the standout at the end though. He was the last one on the ramp, and the wind was at its worst of the entire day. I told him to take it easy. What does he do? He decides to roll in and go for a double tailwhip. In that wind? He had to be out of his mind, but it worked and he landed it with no problems.
We endured it all this week, wind, sleet, rain, snow flurries, even a broken ramp. In the end, we overcame it all, and got through an entire week. Special thanks today to all the students and staff of Avon High School. You guys were an absolute pleasure to perform for, and your staff was very welcoming. If your school will have us back, we would love to come back, year after year for this program. It's hard to believe we only have one more week to go. As mentioned before, it was Trevor's last day on the tour. As I write this, he is on his way to Dallas, to perform at halftime tomorrow for the Dallas Mavericks/San Antonio Spurs NBA playoff game. He was on for 5 weeks, and we get another flatlander next week. Trevor held it down, day in and day out, and many times had to ride by himself. I want to give him a special thanks as well, and we all can't wait to see him again on the fall tour. Next stop, Chicago, see ya there.