After a long day travelling yesterday, the order for the day was some well-needed acclimatising time, which went down well with the team. Everyone had a chance to explore the beautiful city of San Antonio, relax down on the River Walk, enjoy some very tasty food or simply to catch up on sleep.
A wonderful benefit of an acclimatisation day is that everyone had a relaxed environment in which to get to know each other better, before the real work of training and competing begins. As someone who hasn’t met many of the guys and girls on the trip, I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone’s personalities and to start to hear some of their very inspirational stories.
All of our heroes on this trip have each faced their own share of trials and tribulations and to hear – from the horse’s mouth so to speak – just how important sport is to each of them was wonderful. And, although each story was unique and personal, there was an overarching theme that ran through every tale I heard; that is how inclusive, safe and freeing sport is. Clearly, the benefits of sport as part of an individual’s rehabilitation are immense, and visible for all to see.
Another highlight of the day was the opportunity to continue to develop a friendship with our hosts, the amazing US Air Force guys. At times we have been simply overwhelmed by the kindness, generosity and goodwill of those we now call our friends. A particular mention should go to Kari, Tony and Steve, all of whom have gone out of their way to ensure that we have all felt at home in this foreign city. We are so excited and privileged to share this week with these amazing people.
In fact, kindness, generosity and goodwill seem to be everywhere we look in Texas! Firstly, at Houston Airport the good people of United Airlines went out of their way to make a quick transition through to our connecting flight as painless as possible and dealt with all issues with smiles and grace. Then, when we arrived at Austin airport, we were greeted by the lovely Kari and Tony and whisked away to our hotel, where we were once again received by kind, smiling people that simply made the process of checking in after about 20 hours of travelling an easy and enjoyable process.
Walking around San Antonio, you can clearly see that this is a city that loves their Military, and – once again – we have been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, who make a point to take a moment out of their day to utter a heartfelt thank you to our guys and girls for their service. Perhaps the most memorable moment was at breakfast this morning when a little boy of eight went up to Ricky – one of our amazing heroes on this trip – and said thank you to him.
Tomorrow we have a late start and another chance to experience this wonderful city, before we get down to the real business of why we are here in the evening; the start of the Sport Camp. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for another daily dose of inspiration from Texas, and until then, keep up with all our latest goings-on by following us on twitter - @H4H_SR.
If you'd like to support our heroes along their sporting roads to recovery then you can donate to Help for Heroes Sports Recovery. Either, visit http://www.bmycharity.com/h4hsportsrecovery and leave a donation of your choice, or text SPORT to 70900 to donate £5. 100% of the £5 comes to Help for Heroes. (You will be charged £5 plus your standard network rate. Mobile networks helpline: 01494 750 500)