March 31, 2010

I make awkward look good - 2nd edition.

Here's what you've been waiting for, folks. The second edition of a look into my life as a pre-teen. As I was scanning through some of my old posts, it occurred to me that following the title of a blog with "1st edition" not-so-subtly implies that there will be a second edition. And I always deliver on my promises, in my own time. So, here it is. Enjoy.

When I think back to 7th grade, there are three things that stick out to me like Kirstie Alley would at... well anywhere really. At the forefront of the memories I have of the 7th grade are my overalls. I legitimately remember having four different pairs of overalls, and I allowed myself to choose from my assortment one day per week. If Friday came along and I had somehow managed to pull together four different private-school-dress-code-appropriate outfits that week, overalls it was... no questions asked. The second thing I remember about 7th grade was my desperate need for some sort of hair-straightening device. At some point before God's gift to woman-kind came along, my mother should have broken the bad news to me that my hair was unsuitable to the public eye, laid my head on the ironing board, and actually ironed my hair flat. But we've already discussed my hair issues at length. Pun most definitely intended. The last thing I remember about the 7th grade was that I was a tomboy. And I don't mean your Erin Andrews type of tomboy.

All three of these memories culminated into a moment that changed my life forever. It happened in Ms. Walker's 2nd period Social Studies class. Everyone in my class was assigned to write an essay about what we wanted to be when we grew up. What this had to do with Social Studies? Your guess is as good as mine. But nonetheless, there I sat... a tomboy in overalls with unmanageable hair. Now that you have a mental picture...

I can imagine that this was a fairly difficult assignment for most 12-year-olds. Not for this one. You see, I had just recently defeated the defending champion of the one-on-one tournament at Christian Competition's fourth session summer basketball camp. Clearly I was made for big things. Namely, the WNBA. Yes, you read that correctly. The Women's National Basketball Association. The fact that I stood at a grand total of 5 feet, 2 inches tall (if I'm lying, and 5 feet even if I'm being honest) and had a vertical of no more than 6 inches was completely irrelevant. As was the fact that I was, and would always be, white. None of that mattered. This was my destiny, and I finally had the chance to let the world know about it. I went home, whipped up my story, and headed back to school the next day.

If I could tell the 7th grade version of myself anything, anything at all, I would tell her to be just a smidgen less cocky about her dreams of dominating the WNBA. That way, what was coming next wouldn't hurt so much.

We were required to read our stories aloud to the class the next day. My classmates jabbered about their dreams to be teachers, doctors, and lawyers. Ho-hum. I actually felt sorry for them. Healthcare? Please. I was going to save this world one jumpshot at a time. So I stood up, cleared my throat, and informed twenty-two 7th graders of my fate in this world.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting a standing ovation followed by an impromptu autograph session. I'm sure you will all be shocked to hear that neither of these things happened. I was as baffled then as you are now. After all, I was always picked first for trashketball.

It was nearing the end of the class period, and my teacher had the floor. Everyone was all ears. She commented on the nobility of a girl's dream to be a veterinarian, the grandeur of another's aspirations to be a firefighter, and then she laid her eyes on me. Without flinching, she politely (read: venomously) told me that "there isn't a very good chance that you'll make it to the WNBA"......... WHAT?! No seriously, WHAT?! I felt the blood rush from my face, and I subsequently broke into a cold sweat. Who is this lady? And since when is a 12-year old not allowed to dream? Am I even still living in AMERICA? So many questions left unanswered. Ms. Walker was saved by the bell.

I left the class and gave myself a pep talk. Well, that's fine. That's just one person's opinion. It would be my motivation, provided that an awkward, junior high girl is easily motivated when an authority figure, for no reason at all, removes the wind completely from her sails. It was the beginning of a long, slow death to my dream.

Ultimately, I do blame this teacher for why I'm not currently making it rain from 20 feet out while rubbing shoulders with Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoops. However, I'd also like to extend my sincerest gratitude to this same teacher for not allowing me to become a part of the mockery that is women's sports in general. Besides, four years later, I made the executive decision that coming home after school and taking a nap was far superior to running the circumference of the football field in less than a minute ten times and being expected to live.

So Ms. Walker, no harm, no foul. I guess I can finally admit that you were right. I didn't make it to the WNBA... yet.

March 7, 2010

Here goes absolutely nothing.

The purpose of this entry is certainly not to boast. However, in a much more real sense, it absolutely is. I ran 13.1 miles this morning, and I only wanted to hurl my body into oncoming traffic one time. And if I'm being honest, it would be more like three times. Judging by the fact that I'm still living, I'm chalking this one up as a W.

But it didn't start out that way. The race packet kindly suggested that runners arrive to the race 45 minutes early to A.) find their corral and B.) give them an adequate amount of time to completely freak out about their impending doom. Well, luckily it didn't have to come to that for my sister and me. When we were approximately .2 miles away from the start line I casually asked my sister, "Did you already put the time chip on your shoe?". What I received as a response was a look of horror and disgust along with the words, "YOU SAID YOU HAD IT!". Uh oh. In my defense, those words actually never came out of my mouth. I told her I put everything that was laying on my bed in my packet. Unbeknownst to me, that didn't include the one thing we actually needed. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Plus, it's about time that girl learn some responsibility. Geez.

Long story short, Treva purposely ran a red light (just want that to be on the record), and we made it to the start line with 25 minutes to spare. Typical Sawatski style. Never late. Never on time. Always early.

Crisis averted. En route to the race for a second try, time chip in hand.... or on foot.

So for your enjoyment my narcissistic tendencies... a brief overview of the race:

As we're standing at the start line, trying to act like we know what we're doing, we take it upon ourselves to poke fun at most people around us. We casually joke about wishing we had brought our ankle weights... just to make this a challenge. We laugh at the fanny packs containing bottled water and energy gels. Must be a rookie. Little did I know that an hour and a half later, I would have literally knocked someone upside their head, stolen their fanny pack, and left them for the buzzards. Lucky for them, I couldn't find someone with a fanny pack when that urge struck.

Miles 1-7 were pretty standard. I felt pretty good, and after going over the Broadway Bridge I actually formed this sentence, "this isn't so bad". Famous last words.

I'm holding mile 8 personally responsible for my first thoughts to take my own life. I had been told that the course is basically flat after you go over the Broadway Bridge. I should have asked that person to define "basically". What that person failed to inform me about was the steady incline on mile 8 leading up to the Capitol. It was painful. Partly because I didn't expect it, but more-so because it sucked.

Immediately after climbing that hill, we came to a water station where someone was handing out GU energy gels. At that point, it could have been crack cocaine and I would have gladly ingested it if it was going to give me a boost of energy. After downing the packet of vanilla flavored hair gel, I thought I might expel it and the rest of the contents of my stomach onto the street due to its absolutely atrocious aftertaste. Luckily, the people around the corner quite literally saved my life with 1/8th of an orange. It was clutch, and after that I was good to go.

For about 2 more miles. I had absolutely no idea what mile we were on at the time, but I was thinking we had to be getting somewhat close to finishing. Then how could we still be running away from the finish line? Oh, it's because we still had a 5k to go. So as I approached the mile 10 marker, and even more rapidly approached my untimely death... I set my eyes on the lucky fella' who was going to give me my Gatorade. Even in my muddled state, I noticed that this person looked strangely familiar. As I got closer, I realized that the place that I had seen this person was on TV. That person with my Gatorade in his hand was Jim Bob Duggar. And that, my friends, was the fuel I needed to finish those last 3.1 miles. Thank you, Jim Bob.

I don't remember the specifics of the last time I wanted to throw myself off a bridge, but it definitely happened... of this I am sure.

So, in summary, I got to cross something off my bucket list while beating my own personal record of.... never having run a half-marathon before. So, I've done it. And for the record, Johanna and I finished with the exact same time, but I placed one ahead of her. Some may say that it's because of some alphabetic issues, but I don't believe that at all. Boom shaka laka.