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Ron Nagasawa

All Jammed Up

The training started weeks ago. I’d set my iPhone alarm earlier by 15 minute increments so I could build up to getting up at 4:30 a.m. Cue the Rocky theme music. I’d have all my health supplements organized and laid out on the kitchen counter. I would assemble a container of Greek yogurt combined with granola and dried fruit for my breakfast.

You’d think I was preparing to fight in some championship MMA tournament.

No, it was for something much more grueling.

I was preparing for the back-to-school traffic. I live in Central Oahu and work in Honolulu, so I faced one of the worst traffic bottlenecks in the nation – the H1 and H2 interchange. University of Hawaii was back in session, as were all the public and private schools on the island.

The first day of that is always something I’ve dreaded, and so I did my best to prepare for it by downloading traffic apps and checking the radio and TV for all the latest traffic reports. I was determined that, in 2013, I was going to beat the jam. That morning I was in the groove, and my schedule was clicking along like a SEAL Team 6 mission.

My wife was getting herself and our 16-year-old daughter ready. Our daughter had to be out the door by 5:50 a.m. in order to catch her bus. That was critical, as she attends school in Manoa, and with UH starting up, getting there was like going shopping at Ala Moana on Black Friday. I was consumed with my schedule, so my wife dealt with our daughter’s.

It was 6 a.m. when I noticed my wife and daughter were still in the house. That’s when my wife said, “Ron, you have to take her to school, she missed her bus.” I think my head spun completely around and my eyeballs fell out of their sockets. All my critical training and planning just went out the window.

At least I could go in the HOV lane and have some semblance of forward movement on the freeway. While normally I would let our daughter listen to her radio station, I insisted on listening to some good old rock to motivate my propulsion. Def Leppard was in the house and I was moving.

Unfortunately, the car in front of me must have been listening to Barry Manilow singing Weekend In New England.

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