A lot of people say that they don’t remember what they think about when they race. It’s like they enter a place that is so animal, so intense, that they can neither render words nor form thoughts. Or they have a healthy case of PTSD amnesia, also completely viable.
I, on the other hand, have always been a big talker. Growing up, the stream of words flowing from my mouth was so constant that my mom had daily talk time outs, where I had to spend an agonizing five minutes in silence. Even when my mouth is silent, my brain never is. You know the little cartoon chick in Lizzie McGuire? The one that trips a lot and says the things that everyone is thinking but no one will say? I’m pretty sure that when the show was cancelled, she made her permanent residence inside of my head.
For whatever reason, maybe I have yet to pass the amnesia pain threshold, I am my most present during ski races. I remember most of what I’m thinking and the entire time, and even at the most inappropriate moments, little Lizzie will not shut up. Here are a few tidbits from this weekend’s races at US Nationals.
At the Start:
Annie: Okayyy. Nice and calm. Easy peasy. Deep breaths.
Lizzie: Deep breaths? Girl, you about to taking some mighty deep breaths! How’s your hair, are your layers tucked in right? Ohhh, no. They’re not. I can totally tell what underwear you’re wearin—Ok time to start Go!
Up a hill:
Annie: Tempo: tip-tap-tip-tap-tip-tap
Lizzie doesn’t speak here, she just twerks to my rhythm.
Up the big hill:
Annie: Alright. Easy. Smooth. You got this.
Lizzie: Who got this?! Do you see that hill? You go ahead, I’ll stay down here.
Down the other side:
Lizzie: You know what? This would be, like, the worst place to fall.
After falling down the other side:
Lizzie: HA! Really?! You fell! Don’t worry, you got this. That was totally embarrassing, but you got this.
Going through the lap lane:
Annie: One more lap. Halfway there.
Lizzie (in song): OHHHHHHH We’re halfway therreeeeee. OOOOhOH! Living on a praayer!
Annie: BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHE
Lizzie: Over it. Let’s blow this joint. I’m thirsty. What warm drinks have alcohol in them?
During any sprint, any time.
Lizzie: Twerk! Twerk! Twerk!
Whether motivational, insulting, or humorous, having that constant conversation gets me through even the toughest races. For now, I’m grateful for my lack of amnesia.
Also, shoutout to my teammate, Ben, for his first Senior Nationals podium! I wonder what goes on in his race brain…
And, Erika had her own special cartoon. Other submissions are welcome, encouraged, even.