Family Matters

A sister act

Yesterday was rad for a number of reasons.

1.)    I got to have cheesecake for lunch.

2.)    I met up with one of my best buds, whom I haven’t seen in quite some time. PLUS she invited me to join her to:

3.)    Go hear Clara Hughes speak.

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with Ms. Hughes, she is an incredibly bad-ass Canadian athlete – multiple Olympic medal winner, and one of the few people in the world who can say that they competed at both the Winter and Summer Olympics. She is both a road biker and speed skater, and medalled in both sports, at multiple games.

This woman has pretty much the biggest smile in the world!

Talk about inspiration. I’ll be running extra hard during my sprint training tomorrow night and then I will force myself to make it to five pull-ups in a row even if it bloody well kills me.

(If my Friday post hasn’t arrived by  11:59pm on the day, please call either M or my mom and let them know something very serious has happened. A missed blog post is not to be trifled with.)

I kid, I kid.

Seriously though folks, I cannot tell you how excited I was about activity number two on yesterday’s  dial-up.

The brilliant, beautiful K has been on secondment in Ohio since September of last year, and working ridiculously long hours at that, so it was great to have a chance to see her and catch up.

K is a long-time (and often long-lost) friend of mine, who, for all intents and purposes, should be given the title of “honorary sister”, what with how much time the two of us spent together growing up.

The next time I see her, I may just have to print up a certificate labelled PhD – S. I’ll give it to her along with a tape of Kids in the Hall, during a late night car ride – two things that are synonymous with sisterhood for me.

She and I spent our formative years training every day together (sometimes twice a day), and if I had a nickel for how many sit-ups the two of us performed side-by-side, I would be Scrooge McDucking it up in my giant warehouse of nickels.

We played junior national badminton together, and she was my doubles partner. When we weren’t kicking butt as a team, we were squaring off against each other in the singles and mixed doubles finales (of whatever tournament we happened to be playing in that weekend.)

And believe you me. When I say “that weekend”, I mean every weekend. EVER.

We had a pretty good gold-silver monopoly going on (albeit competitive to the max – but I mean, who could possibly play sports at a competitive level and not be IN IT TO WIN IT? Definitely. Not. I – that is FO SHO).

But more importantly than our winning – scratch that, nothing is ever as important as winning – (KIDDING! But kind of not really) was the incredibly strong, nuanced, and hilariously fabulous friendship the two of us formed over the years.

I am very serious when I write that sometimes I think I couldn’t have survived my most cringe-worthy awkward (re: teenage) years had it not been for this girl.

K was a rock.

I was pretty much in awe of her at all times; she just exuded the most natural self-confidence, and self-awareness (which at the time, from my perspective, was completely mind-boggling). On court she was a bloody zen master. Calm, cool – the most collected cucumber in a patch filled with absolute zucchinis.

Full disclosure: as I teenager, I was the queen zucchini.

I promise you there probably isn’t a topic in the world that the two of us haven’t covered at some point during our years spent together.

Our friendship is such that I never get anxious when we don’t talk or see each other for prolonged periods of time. Because I know that when we finally do have an opportunity to spend a day with each other, it will be as though nothing has changed, and we are still sixteen, and laughing ourselves silly in some random Calgarian coffee shop, or, Saskatoonian Chinese restaurant, or Torontonian movie theatre, or Haligonian Dairy Queen.

Due to the number of crazy memories we share, we actually started writing a book, chronicalling our many adventures and insides jokes entitled “Apple and Banana’s Fruit Bowl of Jokes.”

(Don’t ask, inside joke.)

Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas is one of our most enduring inside jokes. HI HO!

Anywho, the book is currently packed away with most of my high school memorabilia, but every so often it’s worth the hassle to dig it out, and re-read all of our insane hijinks and crazy escapades.

They slay me, truly.

For instance:

At nationals one year in Calgary, we were warming up before our match, down one of the club’s deserted basement hallways. K was stretching and I was skipping rope.

My rope get hitting the ceiling duct – with each rotation, a dull clang would ring out down the length of the corridor.

K looked up at me and said (in all earnest): You should probably stop that.

Because I was nervous as crap (and over-confident in my understanding of the solidity of ceiling make-ups and apparatuses) I didn’t take her advice to heart, and just kept skipping.

And the rope kept hitting the duct.

After probably another minute, K repeated her earlier warning.

 Look, she said, just move over a little bit.

Pretty much as soon as these words left her mouth, my rope snagged completely on one of the duct’s inner ridges, and as I finished the rotation I ripped the ENTIRE duct, tube and all, out of the ceiling.

Ceiling duct. Pretty self-explanatory.

K’s (and my!) jaws pretty much hit the floor with shock.

Oh my god, I exclaimed.

Oh my god, K exclaimed.

And then, my lovely readers, what followed is pretty much one of the worse case of “the laughs” I have ever experienced in my entire life.

I laughed like a loon for hours about that incident (after, you know, recovering from my disbelief-induced paralysis, and running away from the major destruction for which I was responsible.)

It’s amazing I managed to get myself on the court, let alone make a serve or two.

Even just now thinking about the incident is an ab workout and a half! When I start to feel a little bad about what I did that day (we snuck down the next day to see if the carnage was still fresh, but it had been fixed already) I can’t really be bothered, because the overwhelming hilarity of the memory is still so strong, and fresh, and awesome.

This is why I adore K.

This, for me, is how I define our friendship.

Because even when she is not physically in my life, I have the memories of our time past, spent together, laughing, training, shopping, traveling –

And if I ever want to remind myself of time past, I’ll just go stand under my ceiling fan.

And think about the damage I could do, if I tried.

5 thoughts on “A sister act

  1. I love it! (This post and the tone of it!) How amazing it is to have friendships that always pick up where they left off without too much fuss. And one enduring so many years is also such a gem! Glad to hear you had a great catch up!

    Haha those laugh-riot memories are the best! I wonder how long the duct was down before someone noticed haha.

    Sweet that you are a badminton player! I love playing badminton!

    1. I sometimes wonder that too…and I can only imagine the poor maintenance person’s reaction. WHAT THE…*&%@#! KIDS!!

      I love badminton too, although I am much more of a tennis gal now that my tenure with the sport is over. Love all racquet sports!!

  2. This is awesome! So glad you got to catch up and enjoy some time with what sounds like a seriously fab lady! Those really are the friendships-made-in-heaven when you don’t have to worry about the last time you spoke and visited because it’s right back to where you left off. And making/sharing inside jokes – priceless!

    Hearing from Clara Hughes had to be amazing – such a great day!

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