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My Van Life: Day 31

Monday, August 9, 2021

Greenfield, IN – Knightstown, IN – Columbus, OH – Belmont, OH

And just like that we are back in business! Today was our first full day back to Van Life and our first work day back to Van Life and it’s like we never skipped a beat. Back living our nomadic lives like we never even left. Like we never had that week of luxury in Downers Grove. I woke up in a Walmart Parking Lot this morning like I was greeting an old friend. And let’s be real here, wasn’t I?

We’re now officially on the East Coast Time – if I haven’t already mentioned that – so my mornings have become even more luxurious and laid back which I am so here for. If I’m waking up at 7am, it’s 4am back home which means plenty of time for a successful morning routine and then some. This morning that “then some” meant a little bit of driving, catching up on some work and then visiting The Hoosier Gym in Knightstown, IN. I’ll let you in on a little secret. We almost missed out on visiting this tourist destination. When I initially did my Indiana research I found this gym on the map and knew for certain I wanted to visit. It was a bit south from where we were planning on going in South Bend (Notre Dame) but I knew it was worth the three hour or so detour. Well, yesterday we left Illinois a bit later than we would have liked, took a detour through the city for souvenirs, then lost an hour moving over to EST and thus we didn’t get the chance to visit The Hoosier Gym. After double checking on the website, I realized it wasn’t even open on Sundays so it didn’t matter how badly we wanted to go, we couldn’t have visited today.

Over dinner in the van we had to make the call – keep on pushing toward Ohio and say goodbye to The Hoosier Gym or post up in a Walmart for the night and get up early, drive over and check it out. Needless to say we chose the latter over the former and I could not be happier. As with many of these larger than life destinations (not physically, more so metaphorically), the photos do them justice far better than my words ever could. What I thought was going to be a quick tour around the gym, maybe a little shooting practice, ended up being a two hour tour (and shooting practice) led by two of the most incredible volunteers at The Hoosier Gym, one of whom is 91 years old and the other one who played in that very gym.

We could have spent all day talking, about the movie, about the little town of Knightstown, the basketball legacy built in Indiana, what it was like ‘back then,’ it was like taking a step back in time with two tour guides who were pretty much there to witness it. They have the legacy of Indiana basketball, the love of the game, the adoration of the movie and the recognition it brought their little town, the life long lessons Hoosiers taught each and every one of us who were lucky enough to witness it (thanks Mom!), oozing from their pores. Every inch of that auditorium is pure love and adoration and it’s a beautiful thing to witness.

I’m still quite in shock honestly that we really saw that. We really stood on the court where Gene Hackman stood and coached Hickory to victory and so much more. What a special place. The rest of the day pales in comparison if I’m being honest. It’s all a blur, overshadowed by the most unreal start to a Monday morning. We did lots of driving in the morning (again, shoutout EST) before landing in Belmont, OH. It was a typical travel and tourist kind of day. Obviously the tourist part transpired in the morning and the travel woven throughout the day sprinkled in with some random Love’s stops for lunch, work and the like. We landed at a rest stop in Belmont for the evening, did a little ab workout, rinsed off (back to cold van showers) and now we’re both wrapping up work before shutting it down for the evening. Tomorrow is a big day for Adam, we’re heading to Heinz Field where the Steelers play so as an avid Steelers fan, he's pretty excited. See you then!

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