09 Aug Water Girl from Hell
Last weekend I went to Lalomanu to be water girl for that man who lives in the same house as me, while he competed in the Samoa Warrior Race Half Ironman. This necessitated:
- leaving my bookclub early the night before, so we could pack the car with everything thats essential for doing such an event. (and for dragging one’s family along with you.) Including the gigantic trophy he won last year.
- having the kids dress in their beach gear before they went to bed so they could sleepwalk to the car at 3am.
- getting up at 3am and driving out to Aleipata. With whingey half-asleep children in the back seat, who were complaining all the way because they were squished amidst bike gear. And a gigantic trophy.
- holding the torch while the Ironman set up his gear in the dark. Keeping an eye out for aforementioned whingey children who were then awake and baying for food.
- cheering him as he started the swim. Trying not to show how freaked out I was by the dark ocean, windy conditions and rough swells. Praying he didn’t get eaten by a shark, or caught in a rip.
- Concealing my freakout thoughts from the children who were worried about their Dad. Snapping at them when they kicked sand and it blew in my eyes…DAMMIT don’t you know I can’t take my eyes off your father or else he will get sucked down into a swirling vortex of chaos and confusion???!!!
- Cheering him as he got out of the water, through the transition and on to his bike. Telling the children they could go swim because their Dad would be cycling for a couple of hours.
- Running to help my screaming child who got stung by jellyfish. Picking tentacles off her back and arms and torso. Hiding my freakout because she’s allergic to all kinds of stuff and I envisioned her body swelling up, her throat closing and AM I READY TO STICK A PEN IN HER THROAT TO OPEN HER AIRWAY?? (the answer to that question, was of course – hell no.)
- Getting surrounded by helpful people at the beach, who all wanted to help. So they peed in a container and poured it on her arms and back. While I tried not to look ungrateful or grossed out. While I told her it was ‘special medicine’ so she wouldn’t scream louder. Miraculously, the pee worked, because the swelling stopped and the pain died. She quit screaming and downgraded to sniffling and whimpering piteously.
- Thanking everybody for their pee contribution.
- Being appreciative of the dude who then came with a bottle of vinegar from the restaurant so we could use that on her as well. But thinking, ‘couldn’t you have come with this sooner and then I wouldn’t have had to put the urine of total strangers on my child?’
- Driving children to the nearby hospital just to make sure she would be okay. Listening to her cry plaintively for her Dad, ‘cant you make him stop his race? I need him.’ Saying swear words in my head about stupid Ironman races at faraway beaches with stupid jellyfish that ONLY sting my child and nobody else.
- Being grateful for the awesome nurse at Lalomanu District Hospital who gave us anti-histamines, pain relief etc. Driving back to the race, but wishing we could just drive home already because the beach sucked. But then who would give him his ice, water and assorted
crapVery Important Stuff?
- Standing roadside in the blazing hot sun to give him water, gels, ice, and ice sponges every time he ran past. For two hours. Trying to stay smiley and cheerful when he complained…‘there’s too much water in this cup…I said gel this time, not water…Water not cold enough…Hold the cup up higher as I run past…‘ Thinking more bad words in my head about bloody ungrateful athletes, BUT not saying them!
- Being patient with the child who had recovered from her jellyfish brush with death and now wanted to go play BY THE WATER, NOT IN IT, I PROMISE! Told her no, you stay in the fale and she flipped out. I resisted the urge to scream. To smash holes in coconut trees.
- Cheering at the finish line when he finally came in. First. Again. Thinking in my head, we didn’t need to put that massive trophy in our car and be so squished. We could have left it at home dammit.
- Waiting a few more hours while he cheered for the other competitors. Waiting a few more hours while he chatted with the competitors and had the prize giving. The whole time I was thinking about how nice my air conditioned room was going to feel when i finally got home. And okay, let’s be honest, I was also thinking more bad words about athletes and triathlons in general. But not saying them! (That’s what counts. Keeping the bad words in your head.)
And then it was time to make the long drive home. With tired whingey children who were squished in the backseat. And yes, I suppose the person who competed for five hours was kinda tired too. Just a little! But because this is #AllAboutMe (of course lol), let’s focus on how I was sunburn, sore, sandy and sick of eating beach snacks. Plus, I had exhausted my repertoire of bad words which made me want to start saying them all again – out loud. Thankfully, the Ironman husband was able to pick up my very subtle
musuBitchFace body language hints and he got us all steak and lobster for dinner on the way home. Which helped. A little.
In conclusion, I want to shout out to all the folks who support crew for athletes of any kind. Especially athletes who do super loooooooooooooooooong events that take all damn day.
Because I am the water girl
from Hell for Samoa’s Warrior Race Champion – and it’s hard work.
Oh, and yes – congratulations to my shamahzing husband. We’re super proud of you!