Minnesota Vikings & Denver, part 1

Thursday was a tailgate day. It started off when I went to the local globo gym to train because I thought I was going to die if I didn’t get some exercise. I was extremely excited to see that they had some Olympic lifting plates, and I used my Jedi mind trick to get to use them without having to pay. Then I did something I hadn’t been able to do in many months, which is toes-to-bar. And I did 50 of them as the finisher to my chipper. I’m still feeling them now.
After training I went back to where we were staying for a Skype call and some bloody Marys, after which our crew headed to a local corn maze. It was muddy, and snowing, and we were all dressed in Halloween costumes. Then we played in a corn bin. Mike and I buried Aidan so he could arise like a zombie, and I did headstands which were way harder than normal in the unstable surface.
…. And then came the tailgate itself. We drove the RV to the lot of the Minnesota Vikings, and did our thing. In my case, this consisted of walking around and meeting as many people as possible, talking to them about fandom, Minneapolis, and the project. There were some crazy things, trucks painted crazy colours, vans converted into bars or living rooms, people dressed up in all sorts of ways, and lots of weapons. Minneapolis Vikings, you know. Also, it was cold.
Mike, John, and I went to the game where we had seats above one of the end zones. It was a memorable game, not for the game, which was dreadful and I wasn’t really paying attention to it, but for the company. These brothers …. It’s great to watch them work together. It’s like everything you always wish you see in co-workers, but yet they are family. I guess it does have its down-sides, too, but doesn’t almost everything?
The next morning the crew hit the road early and I slept in as I was actually flying to Denver to meet Susan, who I hadn’t seen since Cape Town. It was awesome to see her again, and she knew just what I needed to eat which was a gigantic burger and fries. This comfort foot was especially necessary after I had received some bad news earlier in the morning, the upshot of which is that I am staying in this country a few weeks longer than anticipated. After lunch I had a Skype call, and then we went to Front Range CrossFit to train.
That was one of the most interesting experiences of my life. Now, I should introduce this by saying that I don’t normally drink beer and hadn’t done since goodness knows when …. But Tailgate32 does funny things to me. So I’d had some beer the night before, and my body wasn’t exactly happy with me to begin with. This was also my first time training at altitude so long story short I was fine until I got a bit winded …. And then I was completely unable to breathe! The best measure of this is probably the 370m row where my average 500m split for the first row 1:43 and on the second was 2:06!! That is a level of dying that I had not encountered maybe since I started CrossFit. When I finished, I felt like I was going to throw up and had a hard time carrying my kettlebell across the room. Such a cool setup they had there though: a separate Olympic lifting room, a contraption to help with learning the muscle up transition, and lots of big couches.
Altitude … not for the faint of heart! I can also understand now why people train at altitude or with oxygen deprivation and I hope to hell they don’t put Regionals in Joburg or Pretoria. Oh my word. Speaking of Regionals my competition season starts in three months which means I get serious in one month. This is a little bit hard to believe at this exact second. A lot of things are. I kind of feel like I’m in Inception and no longer sure what is real and what is not, or when I’m asleep and when I’m awake. And no I’m not drunk at this exact second.
I did get drunk Saturday night. The day started healthily enough with a team WOD at D-Town CrossFit which I completed with Tommy, the boyfriend of Susan’s friend. The team WOD was nice because by its very definition you’re not going to get too winded, and also it involved static holds. Turns out I’m pretty darn good at holding my chin over the bar. So something like 60 air squats, 60 ground to overhead, 50 burpees, 20 box jumps and a 400m run with a plate later we finished. I didn’t feel like dying or crying this time. This gym was cool for the bright green and the number of super cool t-shirts on offer. After the workout we went to a place called Snooze where I had some amazing poached eggs on harvest hash, and our crew shared three different kinds of gluten-free pancakes. Hello sugar bomb. But it was amazing … I hadn’t had pancakes in years. I can still taste them!!
The afternoon Susan spent studying and I spent working. My brain seemed not to be working too well despite vast quantities of coffee. This all made sense later, but in the meantime I was happy that I was able to crank some things out. Knocking things off your to-do list is always good.
Then the mayhem began. I had promised J when I saw him in Vermont that I would run a beer mile with him in Denver. I tried to back out of it because I was feeling very tired …. But he wasn’t having any of it and you know, I am an adult, and peer pressure is peer pressure but really I do feel badly about backing down from things I say I’m going to do. I think it was worth it to hear Mike’s surprise. He must have had me confused with someone who has a brain.
So in a beer mile, for those not familiar, you drink a beer, run a quarter mile, and repeat three more times. The trick is not to throw up, and I must say the altitude did not help me in any way: about 200m into the first run I started again feeling like I couldn’t breathe. So I slowed down, and survived. Now the amusing thing is that I’ve done beer miles before but I have never gotten anything approaching drunk from one. Until now. Again, I blame the altitude. Holy thin air, Batman.
Afterwards we had some food and a heck of a lot to drink at a bar called The Irish Snug. The Tigers lost, and I had a good time …. to the degree I can remember, that is.
I think where I ended the last post is about right. I think I like uncertainty so long as it’s managed uncertainty. Cape Town feels very far away right now, and I miss the stability of my normal, crazy life. I miss the mountain, Camps Bay, my company, my friends, and all the work I have to do.
I do try not to lie to myself though, which is difficult since you’re the easiest one to fool. I knew going into it that spending time with these boys would be stupid, and fun, in approximately that order. I just didn’t realise the extent of the madness. Kind of like agreeing to take this job.
Well hey the red pill is more interesting than the blue pill anyway.
  • “Can we keep her?” – John
  • “Why are you wearing that?” “….Because I have to.” – Ellie & Aidan
  • “That wasn’t me. Oh wait, that was me.” – Ellie
  • “Will you hold my wallet? I’m not wearing any pants.” – Aidan
  • “I have corn in my pants.” – Aidan (the pants he didn’t have on)
  • “I know you pretty well, Ellie.” – John (scary … now if he and Doug ever got in the same room at the same time I would need to be very afraid)
  • “I don’t listen to girls when they talk.” – Mike
  • “This is the most concerned I’ve seen you on this trip.” “Are you kidding, every time John has an idea I’m concerned.” – Matt & Mike
  • “We’re not like normal Americans. I hate Americans.” – keeping this one secret
  • “I’m also a sprinter, Ellie.” – John (he said it, I didn’t!)
  • “I wish we’d seen the knighting ceremony.” – Dustin
  • “You belong in a kung fu school. Uncle Gin belongs in a whore house.” – Dustin
  • “Yeah but you don’t count [as a girl].” – Dustin
  • “Good luck with that.” – Keet
  • “I can’t help it when I’m awesome.” – Susan
  • “You’re running?!!?!” – Mike
  • “I’m not that drunk. Oh, wait, I am.” – Ellie
  • “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” – Mike


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