Archive for the 'Sports That Are Hard' Category
I laughed for an hour straight. Really, the instructor did all the work getting me past the breakers, setting me up into the wave. The only thing he couldn’t do for me is make sure I didn’t fall off.
I can’t believe I’ve been living this close to the ocean and haven’t been romping in it daily. Woo!
(Photograph – and surf lesson graduation present – by Carey Haskell.)3 comments
One of the most exciting things that Anna and I witnessed in Nice (besides swimming in the sea, watching the USA/Ghana match at an Irish pub and just spending time as sisters) was an IronMan triathlon.
Number of bicycles lined up on the promenade the night before: 2500.
Number of those bicycles that belonged to women: 200.
We saw the first guys come in from the 100 mile bicycle ride after about five and a half hours. We saw some of the first guys cross the finish line after about eight and a half hours.
But, the best part of the day was checking back in with the race at 9 p.m.
The racers had started that morning at 6:30 a.m. with a 2.4 mile swim. They had until 10:30 p.m. to finish the swim, the bike (one of the hardest in all Ironmans) and then a marathon (which was four loops that had runners coming back to the finish line area with each pass – brutal).
So, we came back at 9 to cheer for the finishers. We thought we’d stay until 9:15, 9:30. No. We stayed until 10:30. We saw a couple wearing matching uniforms walking the course holding hands. We saw a guy running completely hunched over. We saw all these tough tough people going and going, some for 16 hours! Wow. And, lucky for us (and them), they had name tags on their bibs.
Anna and I cheered for an hour an a half, yelling out words of encouragement in English and French for Jean-Pierre, for Natalia, for Katarine. Our favorite was a woman with a New Zealand jersey on. We just cheered for “New Zealand.” We gave her a two-person baseball style wave.
On her last lap, she grabbed our hands and thanked us.
We were teary cheerleaders for an hour and a half, blowing kisses, cheering people on, imagining ourselves doing the same one day.
After the course closed at 10:30 p.m., the fireworks started. The moon was a clementine orange color. Anna stayed at the course and I went for a closer look at the bright lights. After, Anna said one guy was still running on the course despite the officials’ best efforts to clear everyone out (rollerblading “refs” with whistles, a siren spinning van, and clean-up crews). A group of kids with American flags ran on to the course when they saw the guy.
“What time is it?” The guy asked them.
“it’s 10:35, Dad,” one said.
Then the whole family ran toward the finish line together. In the dark.3 comments
I don’t think I need to justify buying her book, except to say that I want someone who has written about art and sex and politics and physics, cosmology and math in my bookshelf and reading over my shoulder.
Anyway, signed in to Amazon, put the book in my cart and this popped up. (There were no wiffley things in my shopping cart today.)
Maybe I should email KC and ask her what she knows about wiffle. My guess is that she’s either really good at it or could spin a riveting tale relating physics, wiffle culture and the future of community within a city. Probably both and probably more.
(And please excuse the photo size. My click-to-enlarge widget broke. So, this pic asked if it could spill into the margin. I said yes.)4 comments
I. 6 a.m. in New Hampshire.
Endless fence posts, fog.
Smell juicy ferns, feet squish mud,
expect a rainbow.
II. 9 p.m. in Pennsylvania.
Dark path, dead branches.
Grass – scratchy – longer since rain.
Deer run, I follow.4 comments
Visiting Jackson last week, J asks about social services, about green initiatives, about what the big deal is concerning how many Glory laps – or how many different sports – someone can do in a day. He has never heard of TGR, Travis Rice or even Alex Lowe. Refreshing, actually.
While preparing for the bike leg of the Pole Pedal Paddle - a four-leg race of downhill skiing, Nordic skate skiing, cycling and paddling – I got a little anxious, a little worried. I didn’t want to let my male teammates down, I didn’t want to be the weak link. I wanted to perform well.
J watched as I flitted around the pre-race party, repeatedly asking people about the course, the weather, the strategy. He watched as I made several pre-race to-do lists, oiled my chain and rode my trainer while watching Lance dominate the 2001 tour. And, as I fretted about biking, the 2008 Couple’s Division Champions discussed their world domination and how sweet it will be to wear the beanie around town (yes, your prize for winning your class is a wool hat) and the powder conditions they’ll ski on an upcoming yurt trip. And, while they talked strategy, our other friends detailed their spring excursion to the splitters of the utah desert. And the hot dogs they’ll grill and the #1s, #2s, and #3s they’ll be bringing. And during this, J looks like he’s trying to understand a new language – cocked head, furrowed brows, silent. And I’m pre-mixing energy drinks and visualizing myself peeling out of Teton Village and speeding down the road to the put-in for the boat leg.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” he asks, bringing me out of my trance. “Seems like you’re stressed, not excited, about it.”
“You kidding?” I say. “This is what we do for FUN. And this is me getting ready to kick ass tomorrow. This is me having fun. For real.”
“Huh,” he says.
Then, after a few more minutes of looking around at the tense sports preparations:
“Bear with me. … This feels like stepping off the plane in China for the first time,” he says. He lived there for four years. “This is like being a foreigner in China. … Except way weirder.”2 comments