If all else fails, you can count on me

Well, it’s been a year and a day (or three weeks if you will) since I last wrote anything in this electronic diary of mine (I actually like to think of it as a modern day papyrus scroll), and instead of lamenting the ever-quickening pace of time and space as I do at the beginning of all of my ramblings, I will instead just get to THE FACTS.

1.) Gold medal games.

Marc and I woke up at 4am last Sunday to watch the Canadian men take on the Swedish team in the Olympic gold medal hockey match.

I’m not going to lie, I nearly gave up on the entire venture the minute the alarm went off. Four o’clock in the morning is just TOO. DARN. EARLY.

After I managed to temporarily muzzle the buzzing, Marc leaned over to me and whispered, “Is this actually happening?”

To which I replied, “Fifty-fifty.”

But in the end, it only took me a couple of minutes to rustle myself out of bed and get ready to face the still-darkened sky (not to mention the influx of snow that had begun to fall sometime earlier that night.)

The previous day I had bought pain au chocolate for Marc and I, as well as the friends who had so generously offered to host the game, and I grabbed the bag of pastries before heading out into the blackness.

(Marc elected to catch another thirty minutes of shut-eye, explaining that he would meet up with us at the start of the second period.)

My eyeballs nearly fell out of my sockets when I arrived at Greg and Daniela’s place and saw them both in regular clothing. You couldn’t have gotten me to change out of my pajamas for all the cocoa-filled croissants in the world.

But they’re pretty relaxed folks, and know my habits well, so neither were deterred by my lack of formal dress (or really, any dress at all.)

Over the next three hours we drank buckets of coffee, nibbled on baked goods, and cheered as Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, and Chris Kunitz secured our second straight Olympic hockey gold.

And then I went back to bed.

Which after drinking my body weight in coffee was not the easiest of feats, let me assure you.

After I work up, I couldn’t stop thinking about Par Marts, the Swedish coach, and just how much he doesn’t fit the mold of what I imagine a hockey coach to be.

So I made this:

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Am I the worst?

Perhaps.

But either way, I am totally okay with it.

2.) Lip-synch offs.

So, I’m not a big fan of most American talk shows. As a dedicated, long-standing fan of The Graham Norton Show, I feel that most product offered on this side of the pond is, to put it delicately, sub-par at best.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due, and tip my hat to Jimmy Fallon for all the hilarious things he does with his guests. (Not to mention the fact that he somehow got The Roots to be his back-up band – a feat so nuts I’m like to believe that Beelzebub will be getting a huge influx of souls sometime in the next fifty years or so.)

For instance, this lip-synch off:

Oh. My. Goodness.

Despite the epicness of Paul Rudd’s Freddie Mercury, I am not afraid to admit that I like his Tina Turner better.

Those handshakes?

Brilliant.

3.) MY CAT.

She’s up to something.

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Though I’ve yet to figure out what.

4.) This darn crazy world.

As I race about daily in my own little self-contained ecosystem, I have such a hard time processing everything that is happening outside of the petri dish that is my life.

Every time I read anything news related my heart just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.

To combat this journalistic-propelled malaise, I have been running like a running-thing and spending all of the time with my brilliant, inspiring, and totally bonkers husband.

All we can do is focus on doing as much good as we can (starting with the petri dish!) and hope that our efforts will create spill over, and inspire others to affect change.

5.) This guy

And if all else fails?

I’m just going to follow this dude’s lead:

That’s right.

SUPERGEIL.

I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes

So I originally wrote on Friday that M and I were planning on hiking Mt. Seymour on Saturday – a fab hike for an early August day. However, as it is wont to happen in life, our plans changed and we ended up taking on another venture – running from our house in New Westminster to M’s parents’ house in Surrey (which according to “Google map my run” is a distance of 16.45 kilometers).

They recently had their carpets redone and needed help moving a boatload of furniture back to its original positioning, so we were happy to (literally) run over and help out.

Now, Vancity is enjoying its first real heat wave of the summer, and to say that this run was stinkin’ hot might be a bit of an understatement.

We left at 9:40 am and even then the sun was a-blazzing. The one section of the route that afforded us some shade was the part when we ran up King George Highway under the skytrain; after that we were cooking.

I’ll just come out and say it: this was not the best of runs.

In fact, a lot of it was pretty miserable.

It became obvious pretty quickly that M and I were interested in running our own runs, and were not all that interested in running each other’s runs.

This made for some pretty heated commentary along our path (and quite a few sprints, stops, and starts at that.)

We are both highly competitive, highly focused people – and as such, sometimes we start out so fixated on what we want to get out of somethings that we forget how important it is to work together as a team and be open to blending (or at the very least bending) our expectations.

Because seriously, hashing that stuff out on under the blinding hot sun, halfway through an almost 17 kilometer run is not only frustrating, but also exhausting.

Expending that much energy on emotions leaves you with much less juice to finish off those final clicks – it’s pretty darn mentally draining, and as any runner will tell you, that’s a huge component of finishing your race.

Or, to paraphrase Yogi Berra, “Running is 90 per cent mental, and the other half is physical.”

By the time we arrived at M’s parents’ place the two of us were completely done.

We were KNACKERED.

Please see exhibit A for confirmation:

However, communication wise we were a-okay, tip top, lindy hop.

And the crazy thing is, we still ran that stupid run in less than an hour and fifteen minutes. I can’t help but wonder what we would have done it in if we had actually liked each other during the run!

Alas, that is another question for another day.

After cooling down and drinking litres and litres of water, we changed into some non-sweat soaked duds and moved some bloody-giant wooden furniture around (or how I like to think of it – playing real-life doll house.)

Then it was time to return home, shower up, put on a cute sundress (only I did this – M donned a sweet t-shirt/short combo) and hit the downtown waterfront.

 

Once there we found a lovely spot for some NYT crossword, patio and Caesar action (I’m pretty sure that M and I are the only nerds out there brining crosswords to bars, but whatever, I’ll take it.)

ALSO DUDES. LOOK AT THIS SIGN:

GOODNESS GRACIOUS GREAT BALLS OF FIRE.

This, two days after writing about how I have a strange penchant for mispronouncing Coke, and here we are: VINDICATION.

Also, whoever wrote this should probably spend more time proofreading their work.

But seriously, I almost died when I saw this. Maybe they read this blog and were hoping I’d read this as I walked down Columbia Street?

I can only hope.

I can only imagine.

In final news we have been watching the everliving heck out of the Olympics. As I sit here typing this we are getting ready to watch France and Japan square off in the women’s soccer semi-finals, and we are of course looking forward to Canada taking on the USA later this afternoon.

Seeing Usain Bolt win yesterday was epic, I don’t even understand how gymnastics works, and I want the abdominal muscles of every single heptathlete in the competition.

I believe the question I asked M last night before we went to bed was:

“Do you think if I exercised six days a week and only ate one dessert a day I could have abs like that?”

I suppose we’ll have to wait and see.

What about you cats? What’s been shaking in your neck of the woods?

The gold, silver, and bronze age

Holy frickmas.

DUDES.

IT’S THE OLYMPICS!!!

And hot damn do I ever love the Olympics.

Because hot damn do I ever love sport.

I don’t love corporations, or globalization, or nationalism, or any of the other buzzwords that Olympic detractors love to trot out at two and four-year intervals. I don’t love Coke, and I don’t love idiotic, phallic mascots (although my cat sure does love her Quatchi), and I don’t love doping scandals, or unsportsmanlike conduct – issues that are sure to plague these games as they do every other international amateur athletic event.

I don’t love any of these things.

I just love sport.

And I respect and admire these phenomenal athletes who have sacrificed so much – more than I’ll ever know or understand – to push their bodies to the physical limit in an attempt to (pretty much) attain the impossible.

And I cannot for the life of me understand how people can want to take away from this – take away from those who have trained their entire lives for a chance to perform in the world’s spotlight, for that all too brief moment when the collective mass of coagulated humanity turns away from whatever opiate that is currently keeping them apathetic, and docile, uninterested and disengaged – and watches.

If but for a moment, becomes re-engaged.

Ignore all the superfluous, gratuitous, pornographic background noise that is produced from the monolithic and terrifying Olympic machine; ignore the masturbatory circus that is the IOC.

Ignore everything but the events and the players.

At least I will.

I do.

Because when you do, it is magic.

Here are three memories (in no particular order) I have of watching this magic.  They are events that helped shape me not only as an athlete, but as an individual.

1.)    Donovan Bailey’s gold medal 100m final – Atlanta Olympics, June 24, 1996.

Location: The basement of my family’s house, Vancouver, wearing my older sister`s stretched and faded Los Angeles 1984 t-shirt, sun burnt, exhilarated, awe-struck, inspired.  To this day whenever I see 9.84 I think of that moment.

2.)    Myriam Bedard’s double gold, biathlon – Lillehamer Olympics, 1994

Location: The TV room of my family’s house (different from the previous post), Vancouver.  I remember the how tight my chest was, as if my pride has someone squeezed all the air from my lungs.  I was so happy for not only my fellow country woman, but for all Canadian women.  I cried when my mother told me Myriam had been selected to carry the flag at the closing ceremonies.  (It’s very unfortunate that her horrible actions post-games have come to define her memory for many.)

3.)    Matthias Steiner’s gold in the 105+ kg weightlifting – Beijing Olympics, 2008

Location: My tiny 600sq foot home as a newlywed, Vancouver.  Completely sleep deprived due to staying up all night to watch live feeds on cbc.ca  I wept when Matthias won, having learned that his wife – a German woman from Saxony – had died in a car accident just months before his Olympic triumph.  He receives his medal holding a picture of her as tears stream down his face.

What about you cats? What are you excited for?

Oh, and as a postscript (and counterargument to this entire post), take a look at The Hater’s Guide to the London Olympics. As someone who has lived in the UK, and who LOVES the Olympics, it is bloody funny as HECK.