Sunday, March 14, 2010

embarrassing and not so embarrassing

These are just half the bike racers by the way.
View from our vacation home.
The start of the Motatapu right outside of Shania Twain's land. Some people flew helicopters to the start, it was pretty insane

While I still have any dignity left I will shead some light on some past events.

Lets start with the history behind the first story: When I first arrived in NZ I was greeted by my smiling host family at the ariport who then took me to their amazing house in Otatara. Upon arriving, they generously gave me a letter, a NZ flag towel, NZ flag pencil case for school (both were a hit with my NZ friends), and a ten day pass for a gym that they attend. A week ago I decided that I would like to go to the gym and work out as I have not done it in a while and I felt like doing something active. My host mom said it would be ok, but it is not a regular gym, but a gym for classes. Host mom- "There are spin classes, boxing classes, etc. You are signed up for the body attack class, so I assume that is the boxing one." Me- "ok thats cool, I am down for some boxing." When we pull up to the gym it hits me for a very scary second that this could be some aerobics class with all women doing step up. I voice this in hopes that my host mom knows this is not what I am getting myself into and she says "o, no look behind us there is a guy." It was a sixty year old man in short shorts and tank top but non the less he was a dude. I am feeling a little bit better. We walk inside and my worst fears are imagined. About fifteen high school girls, three older women, the old creepy man, my 13 year old host brother, me, and an instructer in the craziest clothes and hair that I could not possibly describe through typing. She motions for us to gather around the stage and I am saying to myself "F this! F this! F this! what I have got myself into?!" The next thing I know the music is on and she is leading us through a dance/run in place combo that not only takes coordination (something I dont have) but also the desire to run/dance in place in front of girls your own age and an old creepy man (something I also dont have). An hour of pure hell. Well it wasnt all so bad. I was laughing my head off from the entertainment the instucter was giving me with classic lines such as "I hurt so much, but Ive never been so alive!!!" "Now your a famous football player! Go and win the Heisman!" "We are strong women in here!!!" I was laughing the whole time. They were all syncronized dances that you immediatly had to go into and just pick up as you went along. I could not for the life of me get one of the moves perfect. I was always a step behind everyone, or bent over laughing. Classic.

Something less embarrassing: I had rugby trials last Thursday. I was DREADING the trials as I have never played or even watched a game of rugby. People told me I should try out but then would laugh and then some people would sincerely say that I should not try out. I really did not want to but I thought to myself that I would regret it for a long time if I didnt. Im in NZ anyways, I got to try out! I just went out there not knowing what to expect with my gym shoes and running shorts. I got stares for that. "The americans out here and he doesnt even have boots or rugby shorts." I was told to play on wing because of my size and speed and it was definitely a good choice for me. Trials is just a big rugby game by the way. I had no practice, no viewing experience, no nothing for my first time playing real rugby (i have played a little touch and hold rugby but never tackle or anything serious). I am not going to describe how to play rugby for those of you who dont know but the general idea is that you got the ball and you try to get it to the other side while the other team tries to tackle you (there are no pads involved and everyone here calls football a puffter (gay) sport). You can only pass the ball backwards and your team runs in a long line across the width of the field. I played on the outside where you get way less action, but when you do get the action you are usually trying to get a try (score). For my first time playing I was pretty happy. I got a few runs and one long run, made 2 tackles, and caught the ball after a punt.

Side note: I am in the school library right now and a few kids have realized that I have a blog and have begun to read it. I really dont like this because even though I am not writing anything bad about anyone its just uncomfortable that they are looking at it. I dont reread my blog and I dont want to think that they might be judging what I have past put down or anything like that.

And for not emabarrassing at all:

Over the weekend I competed in the Motatapu Mountain Bike race! AMAZING! Not as hard as the Moonshine race I competed in a few weeks ago but it was still very very challenging. It is one of NZ premier racing events and had over 2000 riders in the biking race alone (also a marathon run that I originionally thought I was going to do). 2000 may not seem like a lot but when every one is on a mountain bike, it is MASSIVE! I started around in the middle for my category (junior recreation) and passed over 500 people in the first hour on a small track. O the track goes through Motatapu Station, Shania Twains land that she only opens up once a year for the race, and ends at Arrowtown. It goes through a valley through the mountains with fantastic views the whole way. There were multiple creek crossing along the way and 5 river crossings at the end that were so wide and deep I had to get off my bike, carry it over my head, and run through the rushing waters. I finished in a time of 2:42, 18 minutes ahead of my goal time.

The race was in Wanaka by the city of Queenstown, the capital of adventure in the southern hemisphere.  You can sky dive, bungy jump, jet boat ride, ski, ride the gondola, luge, go to bars, eat fine dining, swim in the massive lake, or basically do anything amazing in this place.  My family has a vacation home in this city right on Lake Wakatipu (main lake and it is massive. queenstown sits right on it). It is small but three stories high, cozy, and an just a great place to go on vacation to. I would actually love to just live there. There is a plum, apple, and some other kind of fruit tree in the backyard. In fact, my host brother picked about 100 plums off the tree and sold them at the race. On our way up to Queenstown I heard all of the stories of what it was like to grow up in NZ and how this city was a second home to my host parents. The town has changed a lot since then to be more touristy but it still has a quality about it that keeps the locals coming back and has the kids at my school saying its their favorite place in NZ. Next time I go up I am bungy jumping and jet boating, should be an interesting experience...

Host dad cheering me on along with the Bullings who are family friends. you also get a shot of my host brother at the end asking if the cameras on. I did 2:42, Mrs. Bulling was a little off...

1 comment:

  1. I'm having a great time reading your blog, it really reminds me of being in Chile... It sounds completely awesome! Keep the blog up, as it keeps you thinking about how different things really are and how much you are loving it.
    Very awesome!!

    Emily Brown