“When someone’s in their season, you can’t touch them.” – quote from one of the Baltimore Ravens fans in Episode 3 of Tailgate32

There’s many different words for it …. Being in flow, being in the zone, just being ON.
One thing that’s true: I have not been in the zone this last week or so. Like that realisation that the rock star lifestyle and the athlete lifestyle do not mix, sometimes it comes a bit too late for your own good. I’m now on day three of an illness induced by some poor lifestyle choices. I guess your body might adapt if you did this for long enough but that would be a negative adaptation.
Said it before and I’ll say it again; I want to go home. I miss my life. It’s a good life. Actually, no. It’s a great life. Am I trying to convince myself of this? Yeah, kind of, but it’s also true: my job is fabulous, I have amazing friends, my gym has a view to die for and some awesome coaches, and I’m kind of done playing around. I am a strange combination of stubborn as hell and easy to manipulate. Sometimes, with some people, I just lose all rationality.
It’s not that I’m trying to avoid a negative so much as I’m really trying to get back to uber-positive. That way you feel when you’re healthy, eating well, loving life, and feel like nothing can stop you. It’s just another manifestation of my really not having an ‘off’ switch. When I’m serious about my health nothing can stop me. When I train, I train. When I work, I work. When I party, I party. And how.
Brain fog is now clearing and I can see the path ahead. I’m a sprinter, and there’s some sprinting to be done. Can’t wait to stretch my legs.
So Sunday’s Broncos game requires a blog post all its own; mainly for the photos. I unfortunately spent a decent portion of the tailgate on the phone to JetBlue trying to change plans/get a refund for my plane flight which had been cancelled by the east coast hurricane Sandy (which also cancelled my return flight to SA, now rescheduled for 12 November). Then I think I must have been getting sick already because I was just not in such a marketing mood but the Denver tailgaters were awesome!! Super fun crowd, great weather, great food (Mexican/southwest influence), and some super awesome super fans! We met the Mayor (of something, but he had a long limo), and the Broncnator.
Things I learned: Denver fans hate the Oakland Raiders, John Elway is the greatest football player who ever lived, the old Denver Broncos logo looks like a drunken horse. Also that Denver tailgating vehicles are different from Minnesota in that Minnesota is much colder so they tend to be more things like vans with fireplaces or vans converted into bars, whereas Denver is more outdoor chairs & tables type setup. I didn’t really get to see San Francisco or Oakland but a little bit, and it is SO COOL to see how these cities differ and yet are the same.
One of the videos was saying how tailgating is really like the last great American block party. You can go, wander around, meet people, and share either your love of the local team or your story (in my case). The concept of super fans and people who drive hundreds of miles to every home game is fascinating to me – people really do come in all sorts. What I do love is the genuineness of the team love: everyone is SO friendly, it’s just sort of like Halloween every other week or so. As one of the Browns fans was saying in the video … the hardcore fans are there for the team. Not the owners, not anyone else: for the players. As someone with a couple of fans myself, I get this, and I actually really appreciate it.
So, good times. I got the opportunity to be one of the many people who carried a 100×50 yard American flag onto the field before the game. This is just not the sort of thing you get to do every day. Or maybe even ever. It was actually kind of surreal. What was even more surreal was to be inside the press box, where it was so sound proof that my brain literally could not comprehend what was going on out in the field with the audio play-by-play. Strange to see a crowd moving but be almost unable to hear them.
Luckily the boys wanted to go out to the stands to find some seats (well and get some beer), which we eventually managed to do up in the nose bleeds. I think it took us 20 minutes to get there though; you can’t seem to get from level 4 where the press boxes are to level 5 without going to level 1 first, and even then not all elevators seem to go to the same place. The game itself was not much of a game as the Broncos killed the Saints, but at least the home team won. I was in a bit of a daze, which only got worse upon my return to the RV where all I wanted to do was sleep.
In what turned out to be a lucky decision all the way around (I was especially laughing the next day when the windshield came off the RV somewhere in Wyoming), the boys wanted to concentrate on their production backlog on the road, so in a bit of a last-minute decision J and I stayed in Denver. I had been planning to stay with the crew through Seattle, the easier to get to San Francisco, but when I woke up the next morning sick as a dog I was very glad that I hadn’t woken up in a Walmart parking lot infecting a bunch of my friends.
And so it goes! Work resumes in earnest now, although Monday was almost a complete loss as my brain was NOT functioning in the slightest.
I’ve discovered something else interesting recently. Most people don’t seem to like to talk about their weaknesses or fears, no matter how close we may be. I suppose I don’t either, past a certain point. The question is where that point is. For me, my greatest weakness or greatest fear is a great conversation to have over coffee, so long as I respect and trust the person I’m talking to, of course. But on the other hand when it comes to something like sport, I sure as hell have to be in the right mood to receive coaching on my weaknesses. Why that is …. Interesting one. Possibly it just has to do with my level of security in various aspects of myself.
Have I said enough times yet that I just want to go home? I was hearing today how much my co-workers, gym-mates, and friends miss me, and in some cases I know just how genuine it is.
You can’t always have what you want, but I do think you get what you need.
So long as you keep the stupidity to a minimum.
  • “Those fries will take a little longer to metabolise than candy corn.” – Ellie
  • “Adorable! Aww, you spilled!” – Mike
  • “That’s healthy food. I can’t eat that.” – Mike
  • “So. That just happened.” – J
  • “I took a photo of a drunken Bronco! Look!” “Um ….that’s the old logo!” – Ellie & Mike
  • “The RV heals.” – John (my back, maybe)
  • “I like to think it was for football.” – John
  • “I like a good cult.” – John
  • “You’re a CrossFitter? And you ate a chicken finger?” – Tamar
  • “You are so easy to f*ck with!” – J
  • “I don’t bring drama.” – Susan (TRUTH!)
  • “I like to call it instant karma.” – Susan
  • “Then you’re good at marketing your thoughts!” – Craig
  • “Lemonade.” – Michael
  • “Well, we all make mistakes. You just have to learn from them.” – Matt 


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