Hooray for another rainy day!
Ok, so it may not actually be rainy where you are but right now it’s raining here and I’m over it. (I’m also writing this a day early. Crossing my fingers it brightens up by the time you guys read this.) If you have had a week like mine than its time to grab a glass of wine and relax for a bit.
Over the past few weeks Ian and I have been playing the long-distance game. ‘Good Morning’ texts and occasional Skype calls have become our norm. But you know, I actually don’t mind it too much. I’m not saying I don’t miss him, because I do, but I am okay with our ‘separation’ right now. It has given us both the chance to take a step back and focus on our own lives for a bit.
Anyways, I really love how we have learned to still enjoy each other’s company from so far away. [5,439 miles to be exact] I could not be more grateful for Whatsapp; they provide a year free of calling versus Skype where you have to pay a fee. So when he has a recovery day after a race, we try to take advantage of the free minutes.
While enjoying our recent catch up call on Monday I had mentioned to him that I had another one of my ‘profound realizations‘. An english teacher of mine had returned an email asking me about my travels and what I have learned from them. As I was responding, I struggled with explaining the ideals of my blog and how I could answer his questions honestly. Then BAM! Something in my head clicked. These were the type of questions I should be answering and writing about.
Ian of course, instantly understood what I meant and couldn’t agree more. He said the thing about all this writing stuff is that I should be telling stories.
To which I responded, “I suck at telling stories.”
Now for those of you that know me, I am offensively horrible at telling stories. I can’t figure out if I was born with it, or if was the one time an ex of mine told me to never tell another story again because it was too embarrassing, is to blame. Either way I always screw up the easiest part of storytelling. Beginning, middle, end. I am constantly too focused on minor details and end up putting emphasis on the wrong parts or forgetting the whole point of a climax. Either way, this is not my strong suit, which is why I have put off writing about my travels to Brazil. (I promise to get to it soon because I know that is what most of you are waiting for.) To help you all understand how terrible I really am here is a bit of background: For our english final senior year we had to tell a story for a unit on storytelling (yay…). I decided to tell this awesome story of how my grandpa ate a dog, on accident. (In the Philippines it was considered a meal of honor.) Those of us with speaking anxiety, who didn’t want to tell it in front of the entire senior class, got to go into a separate room. Long
attempted story short I forgot to mention the dog. Therefore ruining the entire thing as I realized this and quickly told my 3 audience members that, “oh and there was this really beautiful dog that followed my grandpa around all day.” Worst story ever.
Knowing my storytelling phobia Ian attempted to comfort me with sincere words of ,”You really aren’t that bad. You just need to practice.” I laughed because it was sweet and I knew he agreed with me in the nicest way possible. I also found it endearing that after being put through thousands of my painfully told stories he hadn’t written me off as the worst storyteller ever. He is just the best.
I expressed my agreement with resistance to actually try and write one, so he told me that he would write one for me. Enter my first Guest Post. YAY! Now before you write it off as a lame ‘boy’ blog about sports, I will let you know that it honestly is one of my most favorite posts to have read on the infinite inter web. Unlike those of us who have yet to find out voice,*cough me, he definitely knows what he is talking about. I though it was hilarious and really felt like I had been there. Maybe its because I know the way he talks but it felt like I was just listening to him on one of our long-distance phone calls.
Hopefully that excites you guys. I’m not going to post the whole thing on here because you’d be scrolling forever so I’ll link it to the actual web address on his blog. Trust me it is way more exciting than my recent posts about cats in patriotic garb. (Which I still find to be hilarious. How do they get them to wear those funny hats and pose like that?!) So before I ruin my attempt at the story of how I’m going to start writing more stories here is Ian’s recount of his first Brazilian mountain bike race.
Being a goon at a Mountain Bike race – Life of Ian Blythe
To my left is a Big Dude. His legs are massive. Is this really the Amateur Cadet class? To my right is a darker taller version of the same dude, and as it goes across the line there is a shit load of testosterone packed into Lycra. Lined up for my 3rd ever mountain bike race and it’s so interesting to be a goon again.
I am a professional dirt bike racer; I know dirt bike racing like Minnesotans know cheese curds, like that dude in CSI knows where to look for semen, like Russell Crowe knows how to be gladiator. Its pretty much what I do. While you all were working or at college, or at parties on weekends or doing whatever you have been doing, chances are I was practicing, racing, or working on dirt bikes. I have won a lot of races and I have lost a lot, I have raced on 5 continents, I know how to setup my bike, I know how to prepare my bike, I know how to get starts, how to pace myself, who is going to be fast when, what I need to eat, drink, and do before the start. I am always prepared mentally and physically. If I don’t win, I usually at least potentially could have.
Back on the start line of this mountain bike race however, I am having trouble convincing myself that I can win. My competitive spirit that has a knack for getting the upper hand is still intact though. In this group of 60 “amateur” Cadets (under 30 Y/O) they called out the top 10 in points standings. After the 10th guy was called, I lifted my (borrowed) Carbon everything, 12 pound race bike over my head and elbowed my way through this group of guys that were a head taller than me and way more prepared and settled myself into the front row. As if I earned it. Now the challenge is avoiding eye contact and intimidating these amateurs with my mystery status. After what seems like forever a race organizer comes out and gives a speech, in Portuguese, which sounds to me like a series of whistles and clicks which I rationalize as probably not important, and set my mind to locating the guy who is going to do the actual start. I finally see him. Classic starter guy, James bond holding one of those riot microphones and staring emotionless at his watch. Legs quivering, elbow to elbow I stare at him for an eternity. When the start finally happens I am off. Read the rest to see if he won!
Hopefully you guys all enjoyed his retelling of the race as much as I did. I will do my best to try and recreate the same authenticity and entertainment as he had, but no promises. I can’t really tell if this post counts as a story but I’m going to say it’s a step in the right direction. Big thanks to all of you whom have stuck through my awful recounts through the years. Cheers for making it halfway through the week, yet again!
Hugs & Kittens,