Taking it Easy and Overstimulation
|May 7, 2012||Filled under Apollo, Saturn V, Space Camp|
First off, get your mind out of the gutter. Sheesh! Honestly, I am kind of at a loss on how to write this post. I apologize if things seem all over the place. Go with it!
*Disclaimer: This is my personal views, opinions, and account of the 3 shots fired into the U.S. Space and Rocket Center Davidson Center for Space Exploration on Thursday, May 3, 2012. While I am employed as a Crew Trainer, this IS NOT an official blog of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center or Space Camp.
Couch to 10K week 2 was on this past weeks agenda, as well as your normal everyday work things, an astrotrek team and working upstairs in the social media/marketing office. I’ve really been putting effort into C10K this time. I really want to complete the program and work my way up. Now, I am NOT a runner and my pace is slow as snails. True story.My goal right now is to keep adding running times as well as keep lowering the pace per mile. Wednesday, while a very hot workout, was a nice workout. I came back showered and picked up my astrotrek team. Astrotrek teams are not my favorite to pick up honestly. They are bigger groups, think between 30-40 people, and I really just feel like I am herding cats most of the time. I still get to teach fun space stuff, but usually these groups really just want to ‘have fun.” I was also making a point to show off the Davidson Center aka the Saturn V hall to this group because for whatever reason I have been a not so swell job in spending quality time in that building. Bad Crew Trainer, right? Tell me about it.
Enter Thursday morning. . . My goal was to get my kids over to the Saturn V hall and get our history briefings in because we were behind from the previous night. After letting the kids explore the museum on their own, I had them go down and sit underneath the capsule of the third stage. As we were talking about Apollo 1, there was some kind of noise and as I looked up I could see a bit of dust flying. I had chaperons saying that there was a hole in one of the windows, but from my angle I could not see anything. My first thought was a possible cable snap, but I did not see any of the third stage moving. I was finally able to get my kids focus back around towards me when not more than five minutes pass and I have another crew trainer ask me to move my kids to the other end. I get my kids finally moving and we head to the opposite end of the building, towards the Gemini simulator and I again have someone come over and ask me to move my kids away from the windows. From this point forward, at least for the next hour or hour and a half, things are controlled chaos. I took my kids downstairs to use the bathroom, while I went to find out if I could indeed move my kids to a different building. Looking back, I should have known better than to so quickly do this. At this point, maybe 8-10 minutes had passed since we first heard/saw anything.
We head over to the main building and my kids get in lines for the different indoor rides. To top this off, thankfully it was raining and it was easy to pass off why everyone was inside and not riding the outdoor rides. (They closed off pass a certain point and we were not allowed to go past this point until it was cleared.) During this time, word of possible situations is being passed between crew trainers, as well as information. When you have as many kids as we did and as many crew trainers, it is difficult for our bosses to get information to us. Our manager did a great job of answering questions and getting us updated schedules. After an official statement was made and we for sure knew it was, indeed, 3 gunshots fired into the Saturn V hall, we were told to go back to our original schedule. Managers had also pulled all the chaperons into a meeting to let them know what had happened. Unfortunately, even though we were told to go back to original schedule, our schedule had taken a beating. Once our chaperons got back from this meeting, they had to call each parent to let them know what had happened and to allow the children to speak to them if they wanted. This took an added 20ish minutes and by this time there was no way we were making our first movie, which was scheduled to be in the Saturn V hall. Again, managers were great working around this to make sure my team got to do everything originally scheduled.
Somethings are just funny. . . I was a drum major in high school, performing and competing. I was on colorguard for the University of Arkansas Marching Band, performing in front of 72,000 fans and going to 3 bowl games, including a BCS bowl. I enjoyed fighting the crowd at the 4th of July National Capitol Concert. I enjoyed working the past 2 Black Fridays in retail. Even after those things, I am NOT a crowd person, BUT I can deal just fine. One of my chaperons made a comment to me, during the weird time of not knowing what the rest of the day held, about if you worked at USSRC or Space Camp you had to be a person that handled overstimulation well. I kind of laughed and agreed with her. It is true. Around here, things can get crazy. (In a good way, assuming that no bullets are involved.)
I hate to admit this, but I think Thursday’s situation was at the top of my stimulated range. By the end of Thursday evening, my entire body ached and it was hard to get to sleep. After my kids got on the bus to go back home on Friday, I was wiped! I was so ready to just crash and sleep the entire weekend. I did get a few hours, but then I got up and went to complete my last day of Week 2 for C10K. I really wanted to push it, but I knew that I physically needed to take it easy. My body still ached from the previous day, but I get what runners talk about now. Even though my pace was AWFUL, I felt mentally and physically better. I went back, took a shower, went to get a pedicure, and then had dinner with the Space Camp STS- 135 Tweetup group that had come in for a reunion. (That gets an entire post to itself.) It was an amazing and very tiring weekend, but TOTALLY worth it.
I did go back into the Saturn V hall, all the way down to the other end, for the first time since Thursday on Saturday. I was a bit shocked at how “low” the bullet that hit the third stage was. Low meaning about 30 feet off the ground, but when you had thought it hit much higher it is a bit unnerving.
Call me dramatic, but I am a “what if” person, I also graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice, had professors that saw this stuff, have a dad in the military, interned for a prosecutor, and want to work for the FBI. Things could have been A LOT worse, but Thank GOD they were not! I am sorry that this post is incredibly long. I had not planned on making this long. I did, however, want to get my thoughts and feelings out. I still LOVE my job! There is for sure never a boring day at Space Camp!