On the rock-hard mattress in a Lassen Hall dorm room at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo my brother woke me up.
He stumbled to the bathroom.
“Are you ok?” I asked.
“I don’t feel so good,” he said.
And then it came . . . this grotesque vomitting noise from the bathroom . . . the dry heaves made me nautious. I went to check on my brother. He was shaking violently. This was not good.
Earlier that day, my Mom, sister, brother and I had packed our bags and were headed for San Luis Obispo. We have been to San Luis Obispo every Summer for as long as I could remember. My Dad runs a two-week journalism workshop for High School students who live all across the United States, the California Scholastic Press Association workshop.
The CSPA Workshop has been conducted at the Cal Poly campus every Summer. And this Summer was its 60th Anniversary. My Dad has been running the workshop for the past 30 years. He attended the workshop himself when he was in High School.
He came back every Summer since then, first as a counselor, then an instructor, then as the man in charge.
It was as a counselor that he met my mother.
Eleven or so years later, I was born and three years after I popped out the Running Brothers were complete.
My Mom grew up in San Luis Obispo and although she moved down south for college and eventually settled in Chino Hills, she still loved making her way back to her home town. As kids, we would stay for two weeks at my Grandmother’s House. My Grandma passed away roughly a decade ago, but my Aunt and Uncle still live in the city.
Needless to say, The Running Brothers have a strong connection with San Luis Obispo . . . (If you’re a real Running Brother hero, then you’d know that this is where our Running Brother’s journey began)
The trip from Chino Hills to San Luis Obispo was as smooth as could be. Although, afterwards, my brother complained that I talked way too much and that I didn’t listen to anything he said . . . but that’s besides the point.
We reached our destination after 9 PM and quickly headed to bed.
And that’s when I knew that something was wrong with my brother. Watching him shiver while dry-heaving into the toilet at the dorms at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo scared me. He said he was fine, but deep down, I knew that he wasn’t. I was hoping that it was something that would go away by the morning. Eventually, Rocky made his way to bed and with two days until our Triathlon in San Luis Obispo, I feared that he wouldn’t make it.