Back when I was working in Arizona, there was a coworker who put together a team for a Tough Mudder event. I said sure I’d do it and it was a good experience. She would come in occasionally to my office and a few of us would hold a plank for a bit. Just some small training/add something to the day/team bonding. We would also do weekly workouts and such, typical stuff preparing for such an event. During the event, her sister and brother in law came down from Iowa to join the team. Overall, we had a good group of people and what really enhanced it was my wearing spandex with some board shorts over them. The board shorts had pictures of cat faces.
How I got those shorts was due to my friend, the Captain of the team thinking they were hilarious and I said I’d sport them. I and another cool guy both had them and they were a hit. The reason I tell you all of this is because those shorts were legit and yes, I still have them, but another reason is that her sister told me about Iowa nice.
As I was going into Iowa (slightly off schedule due to waiting for a package in Minnesota. -I talk about it more in that blog) her sister offered up her house even though she wasn’t going to be there. She was so kind and Iowa nice. As it turned out, I would arrive quite late, the night they were going to leave. I felt it wasn’t right to disturb their sleep or anything prior to the trip. That and I was already tired when driving when I decided to sleep at a Missouri rest stop.
It was 82 degrees and sticky humid as I walked to the bathroom. It had a feeling like it would stay this way for hours. I got to my car and cranked the AC for 10 minutes or so. I went to sleep and then woke up in this hot, stifling, environment. Groggily and a bit unhappy I noticed it had been just shy of two hours. I turned on the car again to cool it off. I debated whether to sleep with the car on, thinking it’d be cool and I was outside so there shouldn’t be issues. I also figured it’s better safe than sorry and I wasn’t in the best mental clarity state to make a great decision. After 15 minutes, I slept again. It was just over 2 hours this time before waking. Repeated the process for 1 more hour nap and then moved on to my day.
Iowa was the opposite of Kansas regarding setting up meetings with breweries. I shot out 3 or 4 emails and got 3 back willing to speak with me. I jumped on 2 and the last one gave sincere thanks but told them I’ve already met my quota. The first meeting was with Confluence Brewing where they were in process of an expansion. It was about 5 years prior they had construction as well due to starting the brewery and now they were back at it. John mentioned how it was a lot of work and sometimes he would think about it in depth at night, but learning to properly delegate has been beneficial for their company.
I then had a meeting with CrossFit Akeso which went well and I heard how even though their box is small, there is a tremendous pride in what they have and through hard work are now in the process of considering various options for growth. I was able to add a sticker to my notebook! Furthermore, Meddy was so helpful as she was willing to post about my journey to a group of fellow owners she is a part of and that helped to set up future contacts for other meetings. Iowa nice! -Although I must say, I’ve been fortunate to come across some truly nice people in all states so far.
I tried to get a meeting at CrossFit Hardstyle, where I met Josh the head coach. It was great to chat with him and hear about their philosophy. He was kind enough to offer me a shirt as well! He called the owners and I went to another office, where they have a chiropractic business. I was able to schedule something for the next day.
I spent some time at the library per usual and this one had a nice lake view. I also busted out my RXSG jump rope for some exercise. About a year prior I remembered watching a video saying to only jump rope in a gym and use a mat as it helps protect the rope. There was some slight guilt as I was going to be working on concrete but rationalized by saying this was a unique traveling situation and I needed to get some work in. I’d deal with the rope at the end of the trip as needed.
That night I had a place to stay. While in Kansas a friend of mine from grad school called me up about Iowa plans and said I could stay with his parents. I had met them before and they are good people. My buddy came to my parents’ place during school and so this was a nice situation of good things going around and coming around. I arrived and they were very hospitable and had a young puppy that was cute. I got to enjoy some watermelon and a beer as we chatted and caught up for a bit.
The next day I had an early morning meeting which caused a little rush but his parents seemed ok with it and I do hope I didn’t come across as rude. Prior to that, I enjoyed a freshly cooked breakfast with eggs, toast, and cantaloupe. I was grateful for their hospitality and other generosity to help with some food as well.
I went to Fox Brewing and heard that Brian’s situation was a little different than many owners. He had the idea to start the brewery when younger and before he was settled down. He said it was ok for him to take that risk, and the number one thing that stops people is their inability to do so.
To finish off my meetings, I went to meet with Gary at CrossFit Hardstyle and heard about their comprehensive vision, but also the importance of starting smaller with a very strong, purposeful vision and then expanding. There was a strong importance placed on continuous learning as well.
Iowa had been good to me. That night I went to Minnesota where I had already arranged a place to stay.