“Ryder.” Lennie waved him across. “Good work. I’ve got two options for you.”
Ryder raised his eyebrows as he waited. From the look on Lennie’s face, he wasn’t sure he’d like either of them.
“You could go to Boulder and train alongside David Marshall.”
David was a two-time Olympian.
“Isn’t he trained by Isaiah Hobbs these days?” Ryder asked, trying hard not to scowl.
“That’s not really an option, then is it?”
“Hobbs said he’d have you.”
Ryder shook his head and half turned away. “I don’t particularly care.”
“I didn’t think you’d go for it. But Boulder’s closer to home than my next suggestion.”
“There’s not much farther away than that.”
“The other option is to come with me.”
Lennie nodded. “I’ve called in a favour at my old gym in Leeds. They’d be happy to have us. We could train around visiting hours. They’re pretty prescriptive. You’d get more training hours in if you went to Boulder.”
“I’d rather take the week off than train under Isaiah again.” He folded his arms and dipped his chin. “England, huh? I’ve always wanted to see Buckingham Palace.”
Lennie laughed. “Leeds and London aren’t exactly next door.”
“Seriously, what do you think?”
Ryder drew in a breath. “Travelling’s always harder than being home, but I’d rather train with you in England than with Isaiah. But only if you’re sure.”
“I am. We can stay at my parents’ house. Dad won’t mind if you take over the kitchen. Or if you prefer, we can rent somewhere.”
“Sounds good.” It was easy to say, less easy to feel.
Ryder always felt anxious about travelling, especially when it meant staying somewhere else for any length of time. But travelling was unavoidable at his level of gymnastics, so he dealt with it.
Ryder smiled and nodded. He wouldn’t train under Isaiah again. He couldn’t.
“You won’t be the only Olympian training at the gym we’ll be using,” Lennie said.
“Two members of the British team train there. Reece Matthews and Garrett Kidd.”
“They’re great gymnasts.”
Ryder laughed. “Garrett’s the handsome scowling one, right?”
Lennie gave him a stern look.
“What? He is handsome, and he was very scowly at Worlds when I went to congratulate him.”
“You beat him.”
Lennie rolled his eyes. “He probably thought you were rubbing your win in his face.”
“Me? Nah. Why would I do that?”
Lennie raised an eyebrow.
“I barely beat him in the all-around final. It was by point four or something.”
“Oh. Even closer than I thought.” Ryder shrugged. “Either one of us could have won on the day. I was just luckier. See? Now I’m looking forward to a trip to England.”
Lennie shook his head and sighed. “Let’s see your floor routine again.”
Ryder grinned. “On it.”