Thursday, February 18, 2010
To run barefoot at the end of the world
I am writing this before I go to bed so I can get the full story of my day as it is fresh in my memory. Its not a very long story though, but Ill try to catch my mindset that I had throughout the experience. Today at school there was supposed to be sports day, a major major school event in which all of the houses go head to head in a big athletics competition, but it was cancelled due to rain. Everyone at school was completely gutted, because as I have heard, its supposed to be the best day of the school year. All the houses paint up in there house color (my house is Pearce and the color black) and do crazy chants trying to intimidate the competition. You can enter in to all the events and if you qualify (I dont know how, maybe top 5?) you go to championship day a couple of weeks later. This is where the really athletic compete to win major house points, and this is also where I plan on winning as many running races as I can. I talked to people here about how I run and they think I am fast and when they tell other kids I am fast they all assume at sprints. Now my whole house and House leaders (some teachers) all think I am going to dominate the sprinting events. They are in for a rude awakening. Anything under 400m I am pretty worthless at. But no matter because sports day is mostly about having fun (even though most take it very seriously and take it to heart if their house looses. as my house has never won the competition in all of the almost 100 years the school has been around, I am not to worried about doing poorly). So hopefully if there is no rain tomorrow it will be on.
O, my outfit for sports day is a pair of my shortest running splitter shorts, long black socks, and a black tie to tie around my head. I will also be completely painted in black. Hopefully it wont be cold, but its invercargill and I was cold today with it being 55-60 degreesish and people were complaining at school because they were so hot they were sweating.
School was so boring because everyone was expecting to be having a blast all day when it turned out to be just a regular school day. My geography class in particular was boring with the teacher having a picture of a mountain and a car on a screen and had us recap on which one was man-made or natural and why... for the third day and a row... Anyways the day was a bit brightened by my catering class in which we had a savory scone assessment (pronounced scON with the ending like the word on. I get laughed at whenever I say scOWN) and I got a pass. I also got to eat and share them at my bus stop. side note: i thought i would hate riding the bus but I really like the group of guys on it and there is never a dull moment and I always walk home from the bus happy.
When I got home I just lazed around and was tired from the boring day. When I was about to take a nap, my host mom walked in and said "your going to get fat you need to go run or bike or something." Completely offended... not, I got up and decided that a bike ride would be nice. So I put on some biking shoes that clip into the pedals and went off for a 6k ride to Oreti beach (which incidentally had a shard attack there that was all over the news with my host mom's cousin's daughter being "bitten in the bum"). The 6k took way longer than I thought because the head wind was SO powerful but I got there and had an amazing view.
I was looking out over the end of the world. Invercargill is located on the southern tip of the southern island to show you proof of how far south it is, Invercargill has been awarded with the recognition of having the most southern McDonalds (mackers) in the world. No one is ever on the beach which I think is crazy being from FL and the coast is stunning. Massive sand dunes, wide beach area due to far receding low tide, and long long stretches of sand.
I had a what-the-hell moment: I hid my bike in the sand dunes, took off my shoes and socks, tied my shirt around my head, and then just ran down the coast. The wind was so strong, the temperature was crisp, and the the wet sand was packed in hard. It was amazing running, and I just kept going and going. I never run barefoot (which completely showed when I came home with tons of painful blisters) but I am going to have to do that more often. It was the first time I think it really sunk into me that I am really in New Zealand and living here. I was alone on a massive beach at the end of the world and I could just think to myself of all the things I came here for and all of what I want to accomplish.
Then I came home and ate an ice cream bar and butterfinger and then watched South Park... the day was pretty much epic