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Martin: Scary journey to PNW now filled with excitement

Feb. 23—Scary situations come up often in life, no matter how old you are.

Remember when you were a little kid and even the sight of a ghost would terrify you? Or in middle school, when that stretch of life was sometimes a nightmare? How about choosing a college that will be your home for the next four years?

Don't even get me started being an adult and just how scary everyday can be. Bottom line is, almost anything can be frightening.

So, on a scale of 1-10, how scary is it to move halfway across the country and leave the only state you've ever known for the unknown?

I'll tell you: A big ole 10.

This is me, Zach Martin and this will be the first of hopefully many bylines you'll see of mine for The Chronicle. I'm not from Washington, nor have I been out this way for a vacation. The PNW is brand new to me, something that is exciting and, yes, scary.

What's even more scary is how I got here.

The trek started late last week from my girlfriend's house in Waterloo, Iowa. By Thursday night, I'm in South Dakota and catching some sleep. Friday morning is nothing but snow and I continue on my journey.

One tire swerving on black ice later and my U-Haul, tow dolly and now-former personal car all crashed. Thankfully, I ended up OK with no scratches, bruises or broken limbs. Ninety-five percent of the stuff in the U-Haul was unharmed. Car was fully destroyed, so I kissed that baby goodbye.

My dad ended up driving to South Dakota and finished the more than 17-hour hike to my apartment with me in a new U-Haul. I'm grateful for that and will be for the rest of my life.

Now I'm here and incredibly eager to get to work. High school sports have been my passion for the entirety of my journalistic career. They're the lifeline of a local newspaper, the heartbeat of a city and it brings out the best in people when good things happen on the court or field.

That's what I love. Telling stories that will make people want to read it; or giving the best angle to a game recap. Developing relationships with coaches and athletes so they can trust me to tell these stories right, that's my number one goal.

Sure, I may get some stuff wrong. Just looking at the basketball brackets for the upcoming state tournament, it is definitely different than it is in Iowa. All I ask is a little patience and hold off on the hate mail for a couple months.

If I'm still screwing up by May, let me have it. That's the only way I'll get better. After being unemployed for multiple months, I want to make this stop worth it and that means dedicating my craft to this 16-team, one JUCO school coverage area.

Coaches and administrators, I can't wait to get the opportunities to work alongside you. Athletes, I'm looking forward to having the honor of chronicling about your games, seasons and careers. Readers and subscribers, my goal is to keep you on board and continue to click on my stories and photos as well as those published by my colleagues. Go ahead and give me a follow on X (I still call it Twitter) @zach_martin95.

So yeah, this journey was pretty scary and there will be more scary parts to it. But writing about sports and being able to do what I love once again?

That brings me the ultimate bed of comfort.