There were numerous different directions I could have gone with this follow-up post; anywhere from the never ending shopping, to sharing a house with 16 other people, to the shenanigans that took place throughout the lengthy weekend, but I am choosing to stick with the CrossFit Games experience itself. After all, this sport is the reason behind this blog post and is what bonds so many of us together.
To pick up where I left off, with a few physical and mental bumps and bruises, we were all now in the safety of the soccer stadium with tennis stadium tickets in hand. We were free to roam about Vendor Village and shop, purchase something to eat or just hang out and watch the teams and individuals compete for the title of “World’s Fittest Athlete.” It would prove to be an extremely long, exceptionally scorching, three days. Given that seating in the soccer stadium was up for grabs, we easily could have chosen to sit in the shade, provided that we didn’t want to be able to see anything up close and personal. I did not travel all this way to sit and look at a big screen across the field. I could have done that at home. No, my objective was to be so close that I could see every outline of muscle, on every bicep, of every athlete. I wanted to feel like a part of the action and cheer so wildly that I was bound to end up on television. Besides, what kind of fan would I be if I were sitting in the shadows while the athletes were roasting in the sun? The answer is an intelligent one, but that is beside the point.
*Hover over pictures for commentary
There were so many events, both team and individual, that caught my eye, but none that stood out more than “Murph.” To bring non-CrossFitters up to speed, Murph is a WOD (Workout Of The Day) that consists of a 1-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and another 1-mile run, all while wearing a weighted vest; 20 lbs. for men and 14 lbs. for women. This WOD stood out for me because, as someone who has participated in it once before, I know how grueling it can be. Factor in some circumstances that I did not have to worry about, and it just made me realize how truly special these athletes are.
With that being said, let’s do a little comparison between the athletes and myself (because why WOULDN’T we make that comparison?) I completed Murph this past Memorial Day in 66 minutes and 23 seconds. That’s over an hour of what I deemed to be nothing short of voluntary torture! I chose to attend the class with a 6am start time because why the hell would I, in my right mind, want to run in the middle of the day in ARIZONA? I opted not to wear a 14 lb. vest because I felt that my 22 lb. midsection more than made up for it. I completed my pull-ups, push-ups and squats in air conditioning and it’s only fair to note that my pull-ups were scaled down to the jumping version as I had not mastered any other way at this point. I ran the second mile approximately 40 minutes later and felt like I had every menopausal woman from the south side of Phoenix on my back. It was blistering hot, my hair product had melted and was dripping into my eyes so I couldn’t see shit, and I had my underwear wedged so far up my ass I was spitting it back out my mouth. I vaguely remember the end of the run, turning the corner to enter the gym, and immediately after looking up at the clock, my legs instantly gave way. I collapsed and couldn’t stand up for a good five minutes. It took me about 4 days to recover.
Now let’s take a quick peek at the winner of the women’s Murph event, Samantha Briggs, and the men’s winner, Björgvin Karl Guðmundsson. Samantha finished in just over 39 minutes and Björgvin finished in 38 minutes and 36 seconds. Their entire event took place in the glaring hot sun, their only option was to wear the weighted vest, they had to complete actual pull-ups, and they not only finished first in their respective divisions, but they then had to rehydrate and recover in time to complete another event mere hours later. To say I felt inadequate is a severe understatement.
I am not making the comparison between them and myself just to show our very slight differences. I am really doing it to show how badass these athletes are to their very core. Every single one of them is astonishing to witness and it was quite humbling to say the least. Factor in some concerns that many of us as spectators had, and it became even more amazing.
I read an article by Dr. Adam Schulte, who volunteered as a sports medicine physician on the EMS/Medical team for the CrossFit Games, which stated that their staff recorded infrared surface temperature readings in the range of 120 -150 degrees in the soccer and tennis stadiums. I honestly don’t know how these athletes endured in these conditions.
I understand that they are the best of the best, and, in order to be crowned the “Fittest on Earth”, they need to prove it no matter what event/workout they are asked to perform. I comprehend it; I truly do. I also know that it is the responsibility of each individual competitor to determine whether or not they can continue. They alone are the authority on their own health and when to determine that their body has had enough. I do, however, also feel that CrossFit Headquarters could have done more to protect these athletes.
Despite these hellish temps, I did not witness one instance in which the pull-up rig was shielded from the direct sunlight. I would imagine that would feel like putting your hands in a fire pit, pulling out a hot poker, and using that as a substitute for an actual bar. Athletes were shredding the skin from their palms to complete rawness and were bleeding all over themselves. (How they competed later in events that consisted of rope climbs and handstand walks, is beyond my comprehension.) Other competitors passed out from heat exhaustion and were carted off on stretchers. It was very disheartening to observe, and proved to be the lone damper on the Games.
I don’t need to be crowned the “Fittest On Anything” to attest to the blistering heat. I burnt the bottom of my lip to the point of swelling just from cheering, for Christ sake! There came a point in time where, had it not been for my vibrant colors, I would have been interrogated by the FBI because I looked like an ISSIS member! Don’t believe me? Check out the photo below. The struggle to stay pale and hydrated was real! By the time I got to the tennis stadium, I had to stand near my seat for a good 15 minutes while my bag did all the sitting in an effort to avoid 3rd degree burns. Granted, this was a nice vacation from sitting on my ass all day, but can you imagine competing in this brutal inferno?
Since I am clearly the powerhouse behind such decisions, I’d request to CrossFit HQ that events, such as Murph, start earlier in the morning while there is still some shade to be had. I’d also recommend that a tarp be thrown over the pull-up bars to keep them covered until it’s time for the event to start. I appreciate the fact that every single one of these individuals appears to be super human, but the fact remains, they are not. In my opinion, a little help goes a long way.
The Main Event
Tennis stadium seating was incredible! The mad dash for tickets was beyond worth it and I would watch Chris fall a second time if it meant the same seating for next year (true friendship right there.) The atmosphere was amazing and we were seated so close that you could actually see the facial expressions and beads of sweat pouring off the athletes’ faces. Depending on who you were and how loud you shouted (not mentioning any names), the competitors could actually hear you and give a wave (or a “SHUT THE EFF UP” look) in your direction.
It was fascinating to witness Annie perform up close and personal but, alas, Thor never showed his face. I did, however, have the opportunity to witness other “daughters” in action and each one was more badass then the next. Iceland has some pretty hardcore athletes! There was Sara Sigmundsdottir, and, spoiler alert, the “2015 Fittest Woman on Earth”, Katrin Davidsdottir. It took some time but I finally caught onto the theme.
Let me remind you, in case you've forgotten. In Iceland, female’s last names are a combination of their father’s first name and “dottir” (“daughter”). This is similar for a male; father’s first name coupled with “son”. I was so proud of myself for learning this, that, when I found myself seated a row behind Sigmundsdottir’s family; I joined in with the chant for Sara. The only caution: there was a heavy accent which I could not mimic so mine came out as “Some One’s Daugh Ter….Some One’s Daugh Ter….Some One’s Daugh Ter” and so on and so forth.
When I wasn’t chanting in an Icelandic accent, I found myself so in awe of all these inspirational athletes that I began daydreaming of what it would be like to be out there as one of them. I could hear my name being called as if it were over a loudspeaker and not only in my head. “From Cave Creek, Arizona, Tiffany Billsdottir in lane 3….” That immediately sounded like crap, and, even with the legal name Willamsdottir, I wasn’t inspired. I reversed imaginary course and heard “From Podunk Town, Arizona, Tiffany Leblue –Vazinet…” which, for those who are in the know, is a take on my favorite athlete, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.
It was at this point that the reasons behind my not being a professional CrossFitter became very apparent. It has nothing to do with my obsession with donuts and a 2-day on/5-day off workout schedule, and everything to do with a shitty name. My fate was written in the stars on the day of my birth. Thanks, Pop.
Why I Love CrossFit!
I know I spend much of my time blogging about how dreadful of an athlete I am and how CrossFit kicks me in the face on a daily basis, and, while a good majority of that is true, it needs to be said that I absolutely LOVE this sport and the community that makes it so special. Being an eyewitness at the Games just drove this point even deeper into my core. Aside from being virtually on top of my favorite athletes in the tennis stadium, my favorite part of the Games, hands down, wasn’t just watching these amazing people compete, but, at the same time, truly wanting their competition to succeed. It gives me chills just thinking about it again.
For instance, my girl Camille had a rough day that first Friday of competition. She finished towards the bottom of the heap in Murph and, in the “Snatch Speed Ladder”, an event that she was expected to dominate (in my mind anyway), she was “no-rep'd” about 3-4 times which ended up moving her in the wrong direction on the leader board. Unfortunately, she never seemed to bounce back all the way.
There she was, crying at the finish, and yet surrounded by her competition all doing their best to console her. This didn’t just happen with Camille, however. This was across the board, including the team events. It did not matter who completed their event first; they didn’t leave the stadium until each competitor was done. They didn’t just stand there and golf clap either. They ran over, gathered around the struggling athlete, and enthusiastically cheered them on.
I compare it to my 2007 marathon experience. Every time I wanted to walk or just give up, I would round a corner and there was always a crowd of people who held that belief in me that I momentarily lost in myself. This was no different and, as a fan, was even cooler because you got to share in that excitement. Half of these athletes I had never heard of but I screamed at the top of my lungs in hopes that any bit of encouragement would help.
With CrossFit one’s limits are tested and comfort zones are non-existent. Just when you feel like you want to cry, give-up and go home, never to return again, someone comes along and encourages you. They see your potential and your greatness and they find a way to pull it out of you. Being last, more often than not, receives the loudest cheers and comes with the knowledge that, some day, if you buy into the hype of your own awesomeness that everything keeps espousing, you will have an opportunity to afford someone else to witness their greatness through your eyes.
At about this time last year I was watching the Reebok CrossFit Games from my couch and had absolutely no clue what I was observing. I had given up on yet another gym membership, this one at a Muay Thai club. Call me crazy, but I was not appreciating getting kicked in the head by Rhonda Rousey wannabes. As I was flipping through the stations, I happened upon some very fine, very fit, ladies doing handstand push-ups on ESPN. As a fan of beautiful women, naturally I presented my girlfriend, Pam, with a reasonable explanation as to why we should not, under any circumstances, change the channel.
I did not understand the concept of CrossFit, and, truth be told, I wasn’t interested in learning. My focus at that time was on two things exclusively.
1. Sexy females wearing booty shorts.
2. Annie (Thor’s Daughter)
While I am not proud, I must admit that what drew me to the sport was no different than what captures the attention of every lesbian, and straight teenage, middle-aged, and old-aged man. A splendid ass and 6-pack abs. These ladies were ripped and gorgeous and I simply could not stop noticing every squat, lunge, lift, and rope climb.
Then there was Annie. She was a force of nature and the broadcaster seemed fixated on referring to her as “Thor’s Daughter.” I remember getting enraged on her behalf and my inner women’s right’s activist began questioning “Why is Thor so important? Was he a founder of the sport? Can’t he just let his daughter have her moment?” I thought for sure that ESPN would at least pan the camera to Thor so I could witness the hype, but that moment never occurred. Why, you ask? Because “Thor’s Daughter” was actually Annie Thorisdottir (pronounced, Thors-Dot-Er). It was her LAST NAME! (My vodka-induced confession to this humdinger was made to some of my fellow athletes two weekends ago, after I grasped that there were even more “daughters” out there.)
On August 6, 2014, one month after my La-Z-Boy introduction to this extreme sport, I waltzed into WildFire CrossFit, fainted in the deep end of the Kool-aide pool, and have yet to recover. As a matter of fact, I plummeted so deep into this “cult” that I purchased tickets to attend this years Games.
There were seventeen of us who committed to making the trek out to Carson, California and the buildup surrounding it was the real deal! A few friends and I spent countless late nights text messaging and tagging each other in Instagram posts every time one of our favorite female athletes added a new, enticing photo of themselves wearing just a sports bra. I was scouring the Reebok and Rouge websites for new tank tops, t-shirts, boy shorts and headbands. Work took a backseat to ESPN-3, which was live-streaming the Games across the Internet, and my sweet “Pam-Cakes” was doing her best to encourage conversation about anything unrelated to this damn sport. One night she went so far as to ask me about baking. I don’t know what a muffin tin looks like let alone how to use one! “Sorry my love, but unless you’re about to either hand me a cookie, or show me an unseen photo of Brooke Ence eating a cupcake, this conversation doesn’t stand a chance.” I was in the proverbial zone.
The morning of the road trip had finally arrived and I was out the door at 4am to pick up my CrossFit friend, and fellow junkie, Bri. We were delusional in our thinking that we absolutely NEEDED to get to Carson right away for the start of Friday mornings activities. With the I-10 being partially closed due to a bridge collapse at the Arizona border, we absolutely had to be on our way as soon as the first cup of coffee hit our systems. Siri now estimated a five-hour drive as closer to eight hours. We were cutting it close.
We were making impressive time until we arrived at the detour. That was the point when, if given a choice to do over, I would have encouraged my dear friend to use the bathroom at an earlier rest stop and I would have looked closer at the gas gauge. There we were, cruising along with the top down, the wind whipping through our hair, belting out songs and majestic dance moves to Sirius Radio’s “80s on 8”, when I noticed that my gas tank registered at under a 1/4 and there was not a single hint of life for as far as the eye could see. It was us, the car, the music, the desert and a road in serious need of paving. Despite my visions of running out of fuel, being stranded and raped in the back desert and left for coyote chow, I opted to smile and make small talk about the Joshua Trees, the lukewarm 100 degree day, and, every now and again, a nonchalant inquiry as to when we might expect to find ourselves within a one mile radius of a gas station that offers diesel.
To add to my already building stress, Bri decided that she needed to stop and use the facilities. I pulled off the road into the only rest area available. My immediate thought was that this was not a “rest” area so much as a “rape” area. Perhaps my thoughts came from the man in the filthy cut-off t-shirt and jean shorts, who was sitting on the roof of his car, and glaring at us through the haze of his cigarette smoke. I made sure I gave him the look that said “I CrossFit bitch, step-off!” (It’s a real look.) We ushered as fast as we could into the stalls, handled our business, and, as I was about to stand-up, I heard Bri say “Oh my God! Don’t look down!” Naturally, I looked down to find that the restrooms were infested with tiny, black bugs. They were everywhere! On the walls, on the floor, on the toilet paper holder, and, come to find out, in the sink and on the faucet handle. I screamed like a schoolgirl at a New Kids On The Block concert, opted not to wash my hands, RAN out and proceeded to do a swift, Irish jig to rid myself of each insect that just assaulted every fiber of my being. I’m was quite certain that my “I CrossFit bitch, step-off” face just morphed into a look of “Take me, I’m yours.” (Also a very real look.)
Convertible top up, doors locked, we were now in the safety of the vehicle and on our way out of the depths of hell. All we needed to do before we could call our trip to the Anaheim/Carson area a success, was to fill up at an Exxon station, grab a Subway sandwich, and turn down a hitchhiker’s creepy, albeit generous, offer to make out in exchange for a ride.
It’s about to get real!
I was a CrossFit Games virgin so I decided to go with the flow and heed the guidance of the veterans. The main piece of advice that was shared was how critical it was to be out the door at 5:45am to make the 30-minute trek to the soccer stadium in order to ensure that we were first in line when the doors opened at 8:00. Those that experienced the 2014 Games did their best to explain the madness that was “Operation TST” (Tennis Stadium Tickets), but to grasp the true severity, the rookie in me would need to live through it myself. Factor in seventeen different personalities and athletic abilities, all of who were sleep deprived and severely under caffeinated, and it became a true spectacle.
Seating for the main events in the tennis stadium was on a first come, first served, basis and you needed everyone in your party present and accounted for. I called bullshit due to the sheer fact that not even ¾ of our party made it to the ticket table in a timely fashion, yet we all managed to sit together later that evening. I think the vendors, who needed to be there even earlier then we did, paid off people at the top of the food chain to watch us spectators make asses of ourselves for their morning entertainment. We didn’t disappoint.
The fans anxiously stood behind the green, iron gate with one eye on their watches and the other eye on the security team who was in charge of entry. A few times the test buzzer was sounded and we were like a pack of wild animals. We didn’t know whether to drop and do a burpee, run head first into the divider, or chug our coffee for time. When a Crossfitter hears “3..2..1..Beeeeeeeep” it’s game on! Much like the merchants, the security team was in on the fun at our expense.
When the real bell sounded and the gates finally opened it became the finest shit show I have ever seen; a psychotic blend of the “Running of the Bulls” and Pavlov’s dogs in Nano sneakers. People were pushing, elbowing, and hurdling over the fallen. I almost got run over by an ATV hauling water and the lady next to me was crying into the phone telling her husband she loved him. I don’t think she expected to make it out alive. Most of the vendors we ran by were cheering and laughing, although there were a few who dove for cover in their tents and recited a few “Hail Mary’s.” I felt the desire stop and explain what was behind this debacle; however, I knew that any pause on my part would make me look weak. It was kill or be killed. I kept on.
What felt like 20 minutes and 500 meters later, I made it to my destination and was reunited with my team. Chris, our endurance coach, had his iPhone bent around his kneecap and was bleeding down his calf. Everyone else was doubled over gasping for air, sweaty and annoyed. Mission accomplished though. Seventeen seats together. “This insanity better be worth it”, I thought.
To be continued.....
“I don’t want to break the little one’s self esteem.” This was the statement the head soccer coach of my younger sister’s under-7 team made to me when I asked why she was still in the game. As the assistant coach, I was lobbying to get her benched. She was the only child in a sea of green and white uniforms that had her finger shoved so far up her nose, I was convinced that she was going to pull out a piece of her cerebral cortex. Now here she stood choking back tears because the soccer ball, which I estimated to be about the same size as the booger she had just deposited down her throat, had slammed her in the face. My efforts were wasted. Coach not only left her in the game, but she was gifted the “Most Improved Player” award. I was dumfounded. Let me get this right. A child can stand in the middle of a live soccer game, dig for gold up her sniffer, get laid out by a ball that everyone else saw coming a mile away, and STILL be awarded for “most improved player”? What was the improvement? She didn’t bleed on impact?
Perhaps it’s because I’m a child of the 80’s where we had to actually try out for the team, but I am baffled by today’s youth sports. Every child makes the team, gets equal playing time, and receives an award (if not multiple) despite talent, or lack-thereof. Just this past month my nephew and his soccer team have been handed four trophies; “Last place”, “Best Attempt at Winning”, “Most Spirited Team” and “Best Show of Sportsmanship”. Hell, if that’s the case, why not just hand me an award for “Most Foul-Mouthed, Enthusiastic, Aunt?”
As a child my parents highly encouraged me to participate in physical activity. I’m not sure if it was because I could swim without drowning, that I could deliver a mean, accurate shot to my brother’s nuts, or just from the sheer fact that I already had three failed attempts at gymnastics (the tights gave me early onset camel toe) but I ended up trying out, and making, the swim and soccer teams. Do you think anyone gave me a ribbon for putting on my bathing suit and goggles? Perhaps a certificate for most yellow cards issued in a season? No. There were no awards handed out for “Most Diligent Effort” or “23rd Place”. If I was on the losing end I acted like any other self-loathing kid at that time. I gagged my emotions with a cupcake and wept in front of the television.
Kids nowadays seem so fragile and easily offended. By the time they get rejected from their first job interview, they’re prepared to sue, and most likely win, for damages caused by emotional distress. I am just throwing caution to the wind here, but wouldn’t it seem extra gratifying to EARN accolades? If that weren’t the case for me, I wouldn’t be able to comfortably present myself to the world as the 40-year-old, “no shame in my game”, insensitive, sarcastic bitch, loser that I am today.
Now, after having said all of that, I’m also very realistic. There is no going back to the 80’s (which is a damn shame because my hair was AMAZEBALLS at that time) and positive reinforcement, no matter how much one sucks, is all the rage. So I’ve hopped on, and stayed on, the bandwagon of “Hey, good job, last place is still finishing” known as Crossfit.
I am a few months shy of my one-year mark at Wildfire Crossfit and I have yet to win anything or beat anybody and that is totally cool with me. With Crossfit I know that I am a winner just for showing up at the box. That’s the beautiful thing about this sport. Who really gives a rats ass that I still can’t get a pull-up without jumping, or that I lost a piece of my soul when I entered the Paleo challenge last August? I’m still here. I haven’t quit, and all the coaches are just so damn upbeat about all my last place efforts. How does one even contemplate walking away from something this dreamy?
Let’s take yesterday’s WOD “Cindy” for example. That was a hella good time. “Sin-dy”, as Coach Skip refers to her, is a 20-minute AMRAP consisting of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 air squats.
Before I proceed, allow me to explain briefly to those who haven’t choked on the Crossfit Kool-Aide, what an AMRAP is. It stands for “As Many Rounds As Possible.” I tend to gravitate more towards these WODS, as opposed to one that is “for time”, simply because I can workout next to the fittest athlete in the class and be like “Yo…good job…I see we finished at the same time. Awesome.” It has that “winner” feel without actually having to be one.
So here I am at 6am, rolling out and waiting for the 5:30 class to end. I check out the board and see that “Cindy” is on tap. You should note that I haven’t actually done this WOD before, but, as I will quickly learn, it's one of those signature Crossfit workouts that you don't think will be that bad until the buzzer signals you to start and then you remember that you weigh close to 200 lbs. so any body weight movement can, and will, crush your ribs and your spirit.
We start with 5 pull-ups, which, if you’ll recall, I just told you that I couldn’t do. Another great thing about an AMRAP, however, is what I refer to as the “blend and snap” (not to be confused with the “bend and snap” in “Legally Blonde”.) This is perfect for a movement like this. Starting with the blend, I hang onto the bar, swing myself around a little, and put on my game face (which, photographic evidence has shown, is nothing more than a look of excruciating abdominal pain.) Just blend. Fit in. Act natural.
Moving on, the 10 push-ups was actually a true win. Thank God for an athletic background and large breasts. The minute the sisters hit the floor, the faster I can push back up. I feel sorry for those flat chested Games athletes with the rockin’ thighs and tight, perfectly form-fitted booty shorts. It must suck to have to complete a push-up with that extra inch to hit the bottom. I win! Interestingly enough, however, not much fanfare was made about my perfect push-up. Note to self to fuck that up next time around.
Finally, I nailed the 15 air squats. While I am not entirely sure how, I am guessing it's from the 40 years of experience I have squatting to sit on my ass. I wonder if I can get some high-fives for this one.
Enter the snap. This is when the buzzer has gone off, I am laying face down gasping for air in my own cesspool of sweat and tears, and I am mentally and emotionally drained from the realization that my 14 rounds were just trumped by 24 rounds by the rest of the class. Not to fret, however. A huge, heart-felt, “Congratulations, you’ve nailed it!! I have NEVER seen an almost pull-up that AMAZING before!!” has made this punch to the ego all worthwhile.
Come to think if it, maybe society is on to something. Perhaps losing is the new winning.
I am so fucking excited!! I have to use that word now because it may not be deemed acceptable in my new "Humor Writing Level I" course that I just started Tuesday.
Long story short (because I'd rather get to sharing all about "Operation Heterosexual" as titled above), I've been experiencing writer's block since May. I bitched, moaned and complained about it. The Universe intervened via the suggestion of a dear friend to sign up for a writing class. I did. It started. I have my first assignment due and, as promised, I am sharing it with all of you.
The assignment is to write about an aspect of my life with humor and exaggeration. That's not exactly difficult given my sarcastic ways, but I'm jazzed nonetheless. So, here is what I submitted; God help this poor Professor.
My youth was every teenage boys dry dream. Awkward stages happen, yes, but these were awkward decades. Think of the movie “Weird Science” being edited by a team of baby dykes. I played the starring role of Wyatt Donnelly and, to be clear, the nerd version not the cool version. Go ahead and Google Ilan Mitchell-Smith’s character. It’s like looking at a male version of me circa 1990 minus the braces and signature mullet.
It started right out of the womb when I was born bald and remained that way for the next two years. My Mom would slap the nearest bow on my head in hopes to steer the comments away from “Oh, I love your child’s pink dress. Did he pick that out himself?” and more towards “Your daughter is the most beautiful little girl in all the land.” I was adorable regardless, but that never seemed to be enough. The stray neighborhood cat looked more feminine than I did.
Fast forward to Elementary School where one morning was spent wailing because it was school picture day and, come hell or high water, I was going to look as pretty as all the other girls in my blue doily dress, white tights, and brown shoes. I am convinced that those tears were less because of the dress and more because even I knew that brown and doily was not a good match. The underlying issue, however, was that I wished I had the language and knowledge then to just say to my Mom, “Look, putting me in a dress isn’t going to change my desire to look up other girls’ dresses.”
Now here I am in Junior High School and, not only am I willing myself to like boys, but I am trying desperately to fit in. Cue the dreaded “P” word, “pocketbook”. This is what my Mom called it and I was told that I absolutely needed to carry it. Apparently hauling maxi pads in the front pocket of my jeans was beginning to make people question what was really happening “down there”. I couldn’t fight it any longer. It was time to start acting like a lady; not only did that mean carrying a purse (another vile “P” word) but it also meant war paint. Known by some as make-up.
I slathered on baby blue eye shadow, velvety red lipstick for ladies over 80, and blush so perfectly round and pink that it looked like someone dipped my cheeks into frosting filled cupcake tins. I was what one would consider a HOT. MESS. That did not stop me from trying though. I was almost there. I had the perfectly coiffed mullet, the handbag (different name, same dirty feel) and the war paint.
One more final step before “Operation Heterosexual” would be complete. Kiss a boy.
The mere thought of this event still triggers my gag reflexes. Since I cannot conjure up a winning way to describe the anguish of this kiss, I am just going to lay it all out there for you. The kid reeked! To my knowledge, soap and deodorant were on the market back then. Toothpaste and toothbrushes were not novelty items either. Once he strategically placed himself firmly on the rock to meet me at eye level, he moved in for the kill and I honest to God threw up in my mouth (and no, not because he had a penis.) I swear I tasted leftover liver and an onion with a side order of what I believe was asparagus. I’m not entirely sure, but it’s a great educated guess based on what I could gather looking at his braces.
In the spirit of giving this smooch the good ole college try, I mustered on and our tongues touched. I can only imagine how bad it was for him because I sure as hell wasn’t doing any favors for our passion when my tongue decided to go limp. I willed that sucker to move around a little bit and show some signs of life, but it wasn’t happening. We remained there in an awkward lip-lock until he slipped off his pedestal and into the tree behind him.
Sweet Jesus, there is a God and He loves the Homo! My beau honed in for more but I simply couldn’t go on. I threw in the proverbial towel and just flat out said, “This isn’t for me.” As expected, he didn’t handle my rejection very well which was evidenced by the nasty note that fell out of my locker the following morning which said, and I quote, “Your tits are too small. I’ve seen bigger lumps in oatmeal and you can’t kiss for shit!”
For starters, my tits have always been awesome. Even now they enter a doorway before I do, perky and ready to party. Other key points to consider; he was standing on a rock, hands in his pockets, and still chewing last nights chow. Not to mention, prior to this revolting encounter, I had already made out with my pillow, my elbow, Tender Heart Care Bear, and a picture of Jo Polniaczek in Tiger Beat magazine, without so much as one objection.
For those still wondering, “Operation Heterosexual” was a bust.
First off, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog and actually liking it! The feedback has been amazing and I never expected such a response. I am very flattered and humbled. For those of you who actually didn’t like it. How can that be? Sucks to be you. Try harder.
Okay, so be warned that this is not a typical story-telling blog post to which you've become accustomed. Please bear with me as I still feel it’s important to get a few things off my chest. As I just said, the feedback has been incredible and I appreciate the support. I also appreciate those that are “looking out for me” and fear that I am not appreciating myself or that I am sabotaging my own good work. Well, I would encourage you to read. Aside from being a sarcastic bitch, this is what I do best, AND it's also part of the title of this blog so I’m not sure where I lost you in the first place. I laid it right out there for you. Work with me, peeps! Seriously though. I know you’re coming from a good place and I am thankful for that. Truly. I just don’t see it the way some of you do.
One of the earliest messages I got as a young girl was to fit in, be good enough and measure up. All my life I have worried about what people think of me. What will they think if I say that? What will they think if I wear that? Is my hair too short? Am I good enough to hang out with these people? Will they like me? Now that pictures of my fat ass are popping up all over the place (thank you Wildfire!), what will they say about me behind my back? Do they think I'm fat? Do they think I am fugly? Getting my point?
These thoughts were driving the bus for YEARS and I’m not going to lie to ya….I’m fucking exhausted!! Truth be told, I am finally at a point where I am actually beginning to care less about what other people think. If they want to talk, let them. I have no control over that, nor do I wish too. I know I have weight to lose, but I also know that my personality makes up for all of it! I'm kinda awesome, no? I have a freckles galore but I'll be damned if they don't give the illusion of tan in the summer which helps to make my already beautiful blue eyes POP! My short hair has gotten me stares in the women's bathroom more times then I can count (I'm in the right bathroom asshole. Check out my chest!) I am a loyal and trustworthy family member and friend and if you're my peep, I will have your back no. matter. what.! So, if my face makes my ass look big and you have a problem with the way I dress, talk, and show-up in the world, that's cool. Keep walking. I got this with or without you.
Now, of course I still have my moments but I have come VERY far! Hell, as an example, up until about a month ago I would see these pictures, cry, make the person who posted them take them down, and then eat a bowl of ice cream. Now I see these same pictures, cry until I laugh, put them up on my blog for all the world to see, and eat a bowl of ice cream. I can’t explain it, and I won’t attempt too, but it’s cathartic and healing for me. Despite people’s worrying, I DO love myself and I am NOT in an unhappy place. I thank you for your concern, but I ask that you fret no more. All is well in my world and I am doing what’s best for me. I have busted my ass to get to this point, I am proud of all my physical and mental strides, and this is my twisted, fucked-up, way of showing it. I love me some me, baby!! Let’s move on…
If you call me Fat Snatch, rest assured that I will bitch slap you with my arm fat! Consider this your warning. It’s similar to having a younger sibling. You can beat them up, harass them and kick them when they’re down. You’ve earned that right as a family member. However, if someone else were to beat them up, harass them and kick them when they were down, you’d kick that person’s ass! No way in hell that someone is going to do that to YOUR brother or sister! Same thing. I can call me Fat Snatch. You cannot. I invented Fat Snatch based off my belly and ass fat and the “Can’t Catch That Snatch” Ragnar team name. Invent your own, or, at the very least, get your own body fat!
Suggestions for a blog are always heard and appreciated (whether or not I decide to use them is another story), such as “Hey, have you thought about #FatSnatchSunbathing ?” That’s acceptable. “Hey, what’s up Fat Snatch? What’s your weight this week?” is not. We good? Good!
Thank you for your time. You may now get back to your regular scheduled programming and I will get some ideas together for an actual blog post. Ideas are welcomed.
Oh yeah. Turns out I lied. #FatSnatchDoingAnything is not going to work. I am not feeling having my blog be all about that snatch. It’s a work in progress. I appreciate your patience.
If you’re a loyal reader and kept up with all 3 of my blog posts, you will notice the #FatSnatch theme. This was not meant to happen. It was supposed to only be for the #FatSnatchRunning blog post, but, as time went on and more and more photos were surfacing of myself doing anything athletic, I noticed a theme. I’m still FAT! All of a sudden it dawned on me that I’m on to something. #FatSnatch can do more than just run! She can eat, compete (hence this post), skip, sing, dance…. the ideas are endless. So, if the idea of #FatSnatchDoingAnything doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to stop right here. As of now, I’m going for it!
You should also note that, due to the numerous award winning photos circulating around Facebook of myself, I had to narrow them down to only a select few favorites which will be sprinkled throughout. I do NOT, in any way, shape or form, encourage this look. These are purely for entertainment purposes only.
This past weekend was the “Fire & Ice” Crossfit competition that was hosted by my peeps at Wildfire. It was the first time they have ever hosted an event so I figured this was the best time to enter into my first competition. What better way then on home turf! I had briefly considered participating as an individual but my nerves got the best of me, so, when team “Guns and Buns” asked me to join them, I decided that was a more comfortable fit. This was not the pity ask that “Can’t Catch That Snatch” offered. This was the real deal. I was actually wanted on a team (this after being kicked off another because I didn’t meet the height requirements. Don’t worry guys, I’ve clearly let it go) so I went for it and I’m glad I did!
We were the most disFUNctional, disoriented, discombobulated team out there and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This blog post wouldn’t exist without it. The “Gun” side of our team consisted of Rambo and Jackie Chan, and the “Bun” side of our team was yours truly, #FatSnatch, and simply, Bossysocks. One would think that this grouping of people would be a hot mess and I’m here to tell you….you’re right! HOT. MESS! Super fun, very competitive, and quite strong, but HO.LY HELL the behind the scenes (and some in front of the scenes) was a shit show which started (and ended) with my team shirt! Hey, Jackie, thanks so much for ordering mine in a MEN’S triple XL! I know I just got my haircut but I’m not auditioning for Lea DeLaria’s role in Orange is the New Black! Fuckin’ WildaDyke called. She wants her mumu back!!
* Special thanks to Savannah from Team Morning Wood for helping me reclaim a few ounces of my femininity. I would have went home if not for your genius with the hair tie! By the way…keep it classy with that team name, girl.
It must be said immediately that Bossysocks had a huge vocal role in making our team work. The title of “Bossysocks” fits. She knows it, I know it, anyone who knows her knows it, and that is one reason, amongst many, why she is loved so much. Passionate personality and rockin’ socks! Without her laying down the law we probably would have been disqualified for stupidity right out of the gate!
Picture it. Wildfire Crossfit. Phoenix, Arizona. Saturday morning, May 9th, 2015. We were just given an athlete briefing by The Godfather himself (see previous blog post) with regards to the first heat, “The Burden Run”. It was clearly explained that, as a team, we had 8 minutes to get as many reps as possible of Hang Cleans, Shoulders to Overhead, and a 100 meter run all while carrying a sandbag. To break it down further, one male and one female must complete 10 Hang Cleans EACH, with a sandbag, and then, AS A TEAM, you run the 100 meters. Two people carry the sandbag and the other person carries a member of the team. The team cannot start running until BOTH the male and female complete their Hang Cleans. When everyone is done, then you run the 100 meters as a team. When you get to the other end, the same rules apply only this time the movement is Shoulders to Overhead.
Now, granted, there were times when the MC’s voice sounded like a tween girl at a boy band concert, but it wasn’t that hard to figure out. So, whose team do you think had a member ask “So…uh…how many reps do we do? It’s 10 total? I can run and just meet you there when I’m done?” Yeah, exactly! And get me a Slurpee at the Quick Trip while you’re at it! Seriously!?!? Here I am wearing a fucking potato sack standing in what feels like the depths of hell, sun blazing in my face, with a slight case of swamp ass, so all I needed was to be given one reason to lose my shit and bitch slap someone! Thank God for Bossysocks though. Before I could raise my hand, she looked at him and simply said “SHUT. UP!….LISTEN TO ME…” Ah, music to my ears. It wasn’t so much as my allowing her to take over as it was that she just took over! Go girl! Bless Chan though. He just smiled, nodded and allowed her to re-explain everything we were just told. When she was done he says “So…uh…it’s 10 total reps or 10 each?” I love it but what I love even more was that when the timer started and I got a good 5-6 reps deep, feeling strong and fast and thin, I was gently reminded by B-Socks that I can stop doing Power Cleans and start doing the suggested move of Hang Clean; perhaps it’ll make us go faster. Sorry, team. That one was on me! But my right arm looks amazing, so there's that.
The second heat was slightly better. It was a Front Squat Ladder/1 Rep Max where each of us had to complete two front squats at the heaviest weight possible. The women have a combined 6 minutes to reach this weight, and then the men take over for their 6 minutes. I had not cleaned more than 95#’s. My front squat was about 125#’s but that was always from the rack, therefore, with having to clean it up first, I figured 95#'s to be my max. Well, that was not the case. My team kept loading up the bar, and, with the support of all of them, and our judge (who was a doll!), I maxed out at 115!! I shocked myself!! The real thank you, again, must go to Bossy and her “LIFT THE BAR, NOW!!” scary voice, equally scary expressions, tactic. I think the bar lifted itself because we were both tired of the verbal lashing! Thanks, B! Anyway, all was going well, then….
There was that moment of absolute chaos where we lady “Buns” were TRYING to be helpful with loading and unloading weight for the guys. The music was blaring, people were cheering, and all I could hear was nothing but all-out, straight-up NOISE! I could swear that one of the “Guns” told me to take the 25# weight off and put on a 5# weight. I’m no mathematician but that didn’t seem right. Rather than spend time trying to understand why he wanted this, I just did what I was told while under the watchful eye of my other “Bun”. Well, wouldn’t you know, apparently I was only supposed to ADD 5#’s and not remove anything. I’m scrambling to get the weight back on and, when I do, I cannot find the barbell collar to clip on the end to keep the weights in place. I’m frantically searching all the while terrified of what would happen to me if Bossy “Buns” looks over and sees that I am not ready! I look up and see about 10 people, including my twin #SnatchSister, pointing in random directions at where they deem to be the collar I’m looking for. Yes, please, by all means, POINT. IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS! I wouldn’t want you to actually SAY anything. With 2 minutes left on the clock, a game of Charades is EXACTLY what I had in mind! Needless to say, Bossysocks found the collar, I was tossed aside, the lift was completed and I was shamed into just wishing I were home with a doughnut, BUT, not before I took my rage out on Rambo.
What you see here is 25% “GO RAMBO!!! UPPPPP!!! YOU GOT THIS!!!” and 75% “I HATE YOU! I HATE MY LIFE! I HATE THIS FUCKING PLACE! I DID NOT LOSE THAT COLLAR!!! HE TOLD ME TO TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF!!!” (For the record, I love Rambo!)
The third and final heat (shockingly we did not advance to a final round) was probably the best from a team perspective. From my own individual perspective….not so much.
It was a traditional Crossfit Chipper and I believe it was referred to as the “100 Club Countdown”. As a team we needed to complete as many rounds as possible in 14 minutes, of 100 Singles (jump rope), 80 Kettle Bell Swings, 60 Push-ups, 40 Burpees, 20 Deadlifts, 10 Cleans, 5 Snatches and 5 Pull-ups. The order that you start in is the order you must stay in. Only one athlete can work at a time and each athlete must complete at least one rep before switching to the next athlete. Only one person on our team can do pull-ups so it was imperative to be on point and stick to the game plan. I am proud to say that we did just that. I saw some video footage and I have to say that we looked fast, strong and like we had our shit together! Long gone were the days of heat one! We left it all out on the floor with very little mishaps. As a team, I was Impressed with a capital “I”!
As an individual, there were times when I flip-flopped between feeling like a pig at the wrong trough and a whale out of water! I started out of the gate by getting myself hog-tied in the rope a few times but it could have been from nerves. Or it could have been from my count being slightly different than the judge's count since I couldn’t hear anything. Or it could have been because I clearly heard my teammates inspiring me to hurry the hell up. Or it could have been because I was flat out exhausted from the whopping 14 minutes of work I put in between the first two heats. Or….all of the above. I don’t think I’ll ever know the reason. I just know it wasn’t pretty.
I will say that my form with the kettle bell swings was spot on. The push-ups weren’t too bad either. My boobs took the brunt of those but, hey, the bigger they are the softer they land so no worries there. I even felt pretty good on the Burpees. That was a short-lived, pleasant surprise. Leave it to a Facebook photo to quickly snatch away any moment of joy that may have existed. I knew my tent was flying up because I could feel the cool breeze on my belly button. What I didn’t know was how bad it actually looked. There is a vision in my head and then there is reality. Take my word for it. The pictures are out there but I’ll be damned if I am going to help you find them.
Finally, we have the cleans. I typically feel pretty good with these, but again, since I have such amazing friends who feel the need to show me how awesome I am via photographic evidence, I was able to notice a few areas that could use some improvement. First, suck in my gut (also known in the athletic community as “engaging my core”) second, don’t choke myself, and third, breathe! Please refer to the visual below. I believe what’s happening here is that I am asking my judge, while holding my breath, “Now does this rep count? Can it? Please? Can’t. Go. Any. Higher.”
Alas, all good things must come to an end. I burned my shirt in the fire pit, and I’m laugh-crying at the photos splashed all over the web. Our team definitely made for some interesting water cooler chat but I am proud of us. With all of our very different quirky personality traits, strengths, weaknesses and listening abilities, we managed to pull together as a TEAM and had a blast doing so. Hands in, Team “Guns and Buns!”
I do have to be serious for a moment though. Wildfire totally nailed this competition! If I hadn’t already known this was their first time as a host, I wouldn’t have believed it. The energy and organization was off the charts! I mean take a look at this photo from before the day started. My OCD is in love!
Look at the turnout!!
I feel so blessed to have been able to take part as an athlete. To every single person who helped make this event a success, THANK YOU!! From the judges, to the organizers, to the girly MC, everyone…. GREAT JOB!
Wildfire epitomizes class, integrity, teamwork, community and family! That’s why I will forever stand by my claim that my box IS better than yours!
This is a classic line in the 1985 hit movie "Better Off Dead" and it's apparently become the story of my life, at least as it pertains to the last month. If you have never seen it, check out this 4+ minute clip:
I thought Lane had it bad with the paperboy, but he never suffered at the hands of an East Coast asshole who bullies petite, young, delicate wallflowers like myself. Lane got harassed by some underage tool on a bicycle; I've got an overaged tool trying to live out his dream of being a real-life Tony Soprano! Don't get me wrong. I, too, am an East Coast asshole with tool-like tendencies, but you can't bounce a quarter off my ass cheeks like you can his. That's primarily what separates us.
What happened was that he took it upon himself to purchase tickets to yet another running event. While that was fanfreakintastic of him to take the bull by the horns, a little heads up would have been nice. Instead I get a Facebook message to "Pay Up!!" (he even spelled it correctly) or I'm not sleeping in the tent. I was initially excited because that meant that he found a tent big enough to fit me, but then it occurred to me that maybe I'd be better off crying poverty so that I won't have to run again. That was my plan, and I was about to stick to it, until he started showing up on the regular. I never see this dude unless it's on a Friday morning and then all of a sudden he's popping up on a Wednesday. Then a Thursday. Staring at my backside longingly (just because I'm a lesbian does not mean I have my wallet back there, Buddy!); leaving "sleep with one eye open" notes on my windshield; walking by and "mooooo"ing at me while making the Johnny Football cash sign. You know the one....
The man makes about $62 million a year and he can't give a sister a week to come up with $135? That's money for my Dove Bars, Bitch! Anyway....I came up with the dough, handed him a check and was met with "this better not bounce!" Jesus! Go back to Jersey and "keep the change, ya filthy animal!"
I finally got him off my back and could breathe a sigh of relief when, all of a sudden, I found myself asking him for a favor! What is WRONG with me!!??? It's not like I bumped into him and got nervous and had the favor pop out of my mouth either. No. I went out of my way to contact Goodfella and asked him if he wouldn't mind purchasing tickets to another event for me. Between running and dabbling in dough with The Godfather, I must have a death wish!
As always, he didn't disappoint. Crazy came through with the purchase of the tickets and with a casual side of the"PAY UP VACCA!" thinly veiled threatening exclamation points. So now I just need to be more than 80% sure I have the check available (fingers crossed this doesn't end up being the one that bounces) to give to him with a wink and a smile. However, if that wink and smile fails to come to fruition in a timely manner for some reason, here's a hint for you Mayweather: FOOD! Threaten to take it away. There's a good possibility you might get your money faster. Just suggestin'.
Very quickly, before I make my way into hiding, it should be noted that I consider this darling man my friend. Don't you wish you could all be my friends in light of all the lovely adjectives I came up with? Gotta earn them. He did.
* Side effects of writing this post include, but is not limited to, excessive diarrhea from fear of what happens next; nausea at the thought of losing this friendship/connection and headaches caused by excessive worry of being without food.
Yesterday the debate over same-sex marriage was moved to the Supreme Court where justices heard arguments for and against such unions nationwide. I am not about to even touch this subject for the simple fact that I don't give a rats ass about anyone else's opinion on this matter. Sorry to be so blunt and rude, but the love I share with my partner, and what we do in the privacy of our home, is not anyone else's business and doesn’t change the fact that I am a sarcastic bitch! Dislike me for that reason, but not because I’m in a same-sex relationship. No matter what the decision is, I'm still going to love my woman and I'm still going to get married. It's not up for debate. Well...perhaps she needs to propose first. Then it's not up for debate.
No, what brought this post on was that I was reading the news about this issue and reminiscing on the good times I had dealing with my sexuality all alone and at a young age. On the fun it was to wear a dress, go to the prom, slow dance with a boy and the whole time pretend he had a nice rack. And then there was my favorite experience of all which was coming out to my Mom. Now THAT was awesome!! Nothing like coming clean to a nice Irish Catholic woman! Almost as fun as coming out to my cousin who was convinced that my uncontrollable sobbing was because I was knocked up! Almost as fun....but not quite.
Silly me for thinking that this process would be easy. After all, I did leave a few subtle, albeit questionable, hints. Let's see...we had the baby carriage loaded up with GI-Joe men and those little green army guys. I was always pretending to be the single Dad looking for a nice wife. Then we had the more subtle, what I like to call "Barbie Bangin'." One Barbie had her head shaved while the other ladies all had awful bangs (minds out of the gutter people!) A hair dresser I was not. They seemed to be naked early and often, and Ken's only use was to either drive the Barbie Corvette or to take photos of the gals make-out sessions. Like I said, much more subtle than the "GI-Joe needs a baby Momma" drama. Still not convinced? Perhaps the line-up of Care Bears, all with their bellies exposed, can do the trick. Actually, that won't help. I just wanted an excuse to bring the Care Bears into the mix. I have a hard-on for the CB! No, I think the most subtle hint of them all was just me being me. Full-on, throw-down, tantrums when forced to wear a dress; dressing up in my brothers clothes and playing with toy guns; shaving the bottom of my head sans the "Jordan Knight" braid; cut-off flannel vests; and, yes, a mullet! Yet...it was still a shock to family and friends when I came flying out of that closet. Interesting.
We could be here all day so I'll share the three most memorable and exciting coming out stories. We start with my best friend from high school. I figured, what better person to share with than someone supportive? I drove to her house one evening, we played some pool, drank a few beers (not gay at all!), and I fessed up. She said all the right things, yet refused to come near me all night. I drove home a few hours later and we never spoke again. I'm not sure the friendship broke down because she was pissed I was a big ole homo, or because I was just not attracted to her. Which, by the by, is probably a perfect space for a timeout and quickie lesson for you gals out there: Just because I'm flamin' does NOT mean that I am automatically attracted to you because you have boobs! I'm not just going to stare at your naked ass in a locker room or want to hug and squeeze on you for a cheap feel. You ladies need to earn that shit! If I hug and squeeze on you it's because you're my friend and I actually like you as. a. person. If I'm busted staring at you, sweaty and/or naked after a workout, it's because you're hot and my inner man has been ignited. Still. I don't want to bed you. I have my own fine woman at home for that. Moving on....
Next up was my cousin, Celeste, whom I ADORE! I just had to tell a family member so I could gather advice on how to break the news to my Mom that she essentially had three sons (at least when dating was the topic.) I worked myself up into a fucking frenzy before Celeste got into the car. I did everything to keep my composure but the minute I saw her I broke down. In between sobs I managed to tell her that I had some news. Poor thing looked frantic and asked if I was pregnant. Had I been arrested? Am I ill? Is it cancer? The whole time I'm like "WHAT!?? Pregnant!?? Ew! I'd need a penis for that. *choke on own vomit* Hell NO!" I just blurted out "I think I might be gay!!" THINK I MIGHT be gay. Really? It was the best I could do. I remember her response like it were yesterday: "Honey, I could have told you that when you were 5 years old and playing on the soccer field. Have you told....oh look....look....it's Dykes Lumber!" (Dyke's Lumber is a store on Route 17 in New Jersey. And people say that the Universe has no sense of humor?!) We stopped for gas, a Root Beer, and the rest is history. Celeste, if you're reading this, I friggin' LOVE you!!
Assuming you're still with me at this point, I will end with the most heart-warming story of all. My Mom. I love the hell out of my Mom. Jude and I are like two peas in a pod for good, bad or indifferent. I get my mouth, my attitude, and my strength from that woman and, no matter what has ever happened between us, I would not trade her in for the world.
That being said, her reaction to my news was not exactly worthy of an episode of "Leave it to Beaver" (wink wink), however, in fairness to her, I did not deliver my news in the most lady-like of fashions either. I was home for Thanksgiving with my then girlfriend. We had been hiding our relationship for about a year at that point and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with my own lies. Let's just say she almost walked in on us a few times too many. It's college. Young and horny. Don't act like you can't relate. It would just have been nice if Mom's surprise visits to the dorm were less of a surprise. I lost a good bra out the window one day. Supported me like no other. What a loss.
Back to Thanksgiving. Mom was unhappy that I was spending so much time with my "friend" and gave me an earful on the one drive that we had by ourselves. Again, in fairness, I was all about the love and not about the family so I can appreciate her being upset with me, but the digs about how my "friend" was dressed and carried herself were uncalled for. Looking back I think it's pretty safe to say that it was my dress (or lack thereof) and the way I carried myself (pretty badass if I do say so myself) that she could not stand. Either which way, it caused a huge shouting match in which she was screaming and asking me what it was I saw in her as a "friend" and, what came out of my mouth next, was appalling even to me! The only detail that matters at this point is that my toilet mouth shocked her so much that she took her eye off the wheel and drove head-on into a bush (there's the Universe's sense of humor again!) Without missing a beat, she put the car back in reverse, cried harder than me, and drove me straight to church to confess. Poor Mom. The poor Priest who tried to coax me out of the car. Color us all losers! There's obviously much more to it, but I'm going to stop at this point in an effort to protect the guilty.
So now, 11 Melissa Etheridge studio albums and one Melissa Etheridge tattoo later, at 40, I am in a healthy relationship with a femme, settled down in a ‘red’ state and living directly across the street from a Mormon church. I don't attend mass, my "phase" hasn't passed, and my relationship with my Mom is better than I could have ever imagined! She will call to offer (to which I will politely decline) to buy me QVC's Today's Special Value (available in 7 easy payments) of "Marsha Brady's lace-infused, blush colored, scoop necked blouse, matching purse and bonus wristlet" BUT... when I think back and can hear Momma Jude say such things to my niece as "ask Aunt Pam...", it makes me wish that blush and bashful really were my signature colors.
Just for fun, here are some photos to back up my claims. Notice how I was all smiles in my baby beater, and with my rosary beads and race car. More smiles with my guns and ammo. I'll give you one guess who the sad sack in the blue dress happens to be.
And there you have it!
Before you get all perved out by the title, let me say this: if you're only familiar with the one, non-Crossfit related definition of the word "snatch", I suggest expanding your horizons because it's not what you think it is. Well, it is what you think it is, just not in this use of the word. I did, however, come up with the title while I was showering. You can figure that one out yourself.
No. This is about team "Can't Catch That Snatch". A Crossfit team running Ragnar. Or just plain ragged if you're me. If you've not heard of Ragnar this is it in a nutshell: You gather up 12 crazies, pile 6 of them in one van and 6 of them in another, and you run a relay style race. Van 1 starts at a particular location, each team member runs a set course and a set amount of miles, and then van 2 takes over where they left off. When one van is running, the other van has time to grab some food, find a place to shower and kill some time for a few hours. It's like Woodstock but on 4 wheels. So now, let me clarify one thing right off the bat so that we are all on the same page. I am not a runner. If I am not being chased, or there is not a pizza slice just a few feet ahead of me, I find no need for it. I do it because I have a Crossfit coach who deems endurance necessary. Whatever. He's cute. I listen. Anyway....the team was in need of one more person and I got the pity ask. You know the one. "Hey, time is running out, Ragnar is in one week, we can't find anyone else, so how would you like to be on our team?" (That's how I heard it anyway. Remember, poster child for self-sabotage.) Being that I am fairly new to Arizona, hadn't really come out of my shell, and wanted to be a part of the community, I set aside my feelings of dread at the thought of running, 3 TIMES, and said yes. I figured, how bad can it be? I get to spend time with people I enjoy, get to know them, have a few laughs, and run a little on the side. It's not like it's the Marine Corp. Marathon that I ran in 2007 (which, by the way, I said yes too while I was drunk and eating a sleeve of Oreo's. I hated running then as well. Perhaps my next post needs to be about the art of saying NO!) Well....it was bad. The running sucked!! It sucked so friggin' bad that I said yes to the Trail Series in November (back to the art of saying NO!) simply because our van was, and IS, #TheBestVanEver!!
First, the ugly! Here is a snapshot for those of you who are visual.
See my team? See those amazing, in shape, bods of steel? Then you see the layer cake in the middle? Blue glasses and feathers on her head? That's me. That's the woman who you don't want to "kill" you on the run because you will be the laughing stock of Ragnar. That's what my team was working with folks. (To back up slightly, a "kill" is when one runner passes another on their leg of the race. I guess it gives you something to focus on other than wishing someone would just come up and shoot you in the face and end the misery.) What I did not know, other than how many damn pictures of my fat ass was going to end up on Facebook, was how kills were tracked. You have your name ON THE WINDOW of the van so that EVERYONE can count your check marks. My team members each had about, oh I dunno, 25 or so, if not more. Not that I compare myself to others or anything, but are you fucking kidding me!!??? It's not enough to be athletic and easy on the eyes, but now you have to 24 up me!? Notice I didn't say 25? That's because I got my kill, baby!! #ONE! And yes, the use of the hashtag came into play early on during this trip because I wrote out my kill as #O.N.E. so that the letters would extend as far out as everyone else's marks. How do ya like me now, Snatches!?
Which leads me to Raul. Dear, sweet, #OneKill Raul. I would estimate that he was a cool 300+ lbs. of man meat. He was bustin' a move ahead of me and I had my eyes set on him from the start. You should note, however, that if Speedy on our team didn't run so Goddamn fast, and if I was actually prepared for her arrival rather than being screamed at by spectators "WHERE IS #77!!??? YOUR RUNNER IS WAITING!!", I would have started out running in the proper direction and this kill wouldn't have been such a challenge! Nonetheless, it was a challenge and I almost didn't catch him. The Universe felt my pain at being kill-less, however, and Raul started walking! YES!! Now I got him right where I want him!! As I moved in I was playing out in my mind what I should do. Do I smile? No. Then I look like a pompous asshole and, being that I was killed about 19 times on that run alone, I didn't want to inflict the same pain on him. Do I wink? Nah. Then he will think I'm interested in him and, being that we are the only two alone on the road, I could be asking for trouble. I've seen SVU. Do I say "good job?" Nope. Still not a good look. So, I breezed on by him, gave myself a mental high-five, and knew that nothing else that happened on this adventure would matter. I got my kill. Sorry buddy!
The rest of the runs didn't get much better. It was pitch black because it was about 2:00am on my 2nd leg and I was pretty certain I was going to shit my pants. People were sprinting by me and now I know why. Hell, I almost gassed myself out! It would have been nice to have van support at that point if for no other reason than to take my mind off of the shooting pains in my stomach, but, for as amazing as my van was, they SUCKED at van support. Van support is when you get to pull to the side of the road, cheer your runner on, offer water or toilet paper or what have you. That kind of stuff. Numerous vans were pulled over. It was so lovely to see runners smile and know someone on the road cared. I just knew it was only a matter of time before MY van pulled over. Knew. It. Yeah, that never happened. I did, however, get one lone woman on the side of the road look at me quizzically and then shouted "Go, Runner!" Turns out she had no fuckin' clue if I was a man or a woman! If my tits weren't lost in my belly-button she would have had an easier time. But seriously.... this is clearly the face and body of a lady!!
Whatever. No van support.
The 3rd and final leg was just straight-up bullshit! It was in the high 90's (but add in 60 extra lbs. and menopause and it easily became 120 degrees), again, no van support, and again, Speedy was friggin' speed demon on the the hills! She was supposed to be about 15-20 minutes slower than anticipated so of course, I was not prepared. Again. Actually, I was pissed. Here is proof.
If my face doesn't say it, allow me to tell you exactly what was on my mind: "Just give me the fucking band already!" Really, there isn't much more to say there. I ran my last leg, wished I were anywhere else, and swore I'd never run again unless I had too.
I would be remiss though if I didn't take time to say how awesome team "Can't Catch That Snatch" actually was. I can't remember the last time I laughed until I cried and wheezed both at the same time. So many memories and friendships were created and, apparently, I also found my long lost #SnatchSister. A woman working the headband booth was kind enough to point out that we should be related. (I'll make a mental note to speak with my Mom about that.) When I looked at my twin of the same name, I noticed that she, too, was white, had freckles, easily sunburned and had hair. I knew immediately that headband lady was right! #Twinsies
I am actually really looking forward to the #BestTentEver on the Trail Run. I know I just bitched and moaned at the horror and injustice of it all, but the reality is that I am a glutton for punishment and, in some sick, twisted, fat bastard way, I actually enjoy these crazy adventures. Besides, I won't have to worry about van support and I already know a few people who said they would spoon with me. So thank you "Can't Catch That Snatch" for inviting me to the party...even if it was out of desperation!