RunningSkiing

Super Llama, Drama Llama

This week deserves all sorts of California praise hands, mostly of the sun variety, but because I was once again bouncing across peaks and valleys and on cliffs and through sunrises and sunsets, and that’s all sort of discombobulated, it gets bullet points.

After I had dropped Steve and Chris off and had promptly spent the afternoon acquiring some healthy running tanlines and some fantastic chafing (ouch) while doing a somewhat failed (thanks, ocean breeze headwind) 13-mile progression run through Golden Gate Park at the heat of the day, I then spent the night pretending I lived in the Garland’s abode and got to catch an early morning Alameda sunrise. Alameda, guys: hidden gem of the East Bay.

Alameda morning miles.

I then spent the rest of the day before trekking back up to Truckee acquiring even more tanlines (and a massive knee-covering bruise, thank you totally inappropriate footwear) climbing around some crazy cliffs in the Headlands, and the whole two days of crystal clear sunshine and Pacific views was good for my spring- and summer-loving, snow-covered soul.

Coastal cliffs and crystal clear days.

It actually did stop snowing in the Tahoe region this week though, and I continued my streak of MUST-BE-OUTSIDE-IN-SUN by plopping myself on my porch and working while staring at ski slopes and mountains, and was 75% of the time in shorts and a bathing suit and only 25% of the time wrapped up in a giant duvet, Scotland-style. For only really working a few days this week, I actually got a ridiculous amount done, which is always satisfying.

How Beagle and I spent most of the middle of the week.

I went on sunrise and sunset runs one day, and then Alex and I spent the rest of the evening eating brownies, drinking red wine, playing card games and listening to records, and it was all kind of amazing.

Legacy Trail sunsets.

I had to do some sort of tempo run, and I found the flattest place I possibly could to do it with the best backdrop possible to make mile repeats somewhat less painful.

Sierra Valley explorations.

And then… I taught a bunch of ski lessons, which were a mixed bag and kind of each deserve their own call-out:

On one day, I had three sassy-pants girls. We were in the gondola about mid-morning, and I said something, and there was a two-second silence. Queen Sassy-pants immediately shifts her eyes and goes ‘Awkward Silence…’, to which I immediately make the Awkward Turtle hand motion… to which, in unison, they all start singing a song (with hand motions, of course):

Happy llama, sad llama, totally rad llama.
Super llama, drama llama, big fat momma llama.
Moose, alpaca. Moose moose, alpaca (squirrel)
Moose, alpaca, Moose moose, alpaca (squirrel)
Awkward turtles, make weird babies
Old man coconut fell out of a palm tree
Onto the awkward turtle and her babies
Oh no, so depressing! Let’s sing it again!

And from that point on, all three of them spent the remainder of the day singing. They’d ski up behind me, and it would be a rounds chorus of drama llamas and awkward turtles (me included, seriously this song will not leave my head). Miniest Sassy-pants noted that ‘she skied better and didn’t think about falling when she sang’, and really, she has a point: Steve and I both were reminiscing last weekend about how we spent many years skiing to the ‘Guiness and Cupid are fat guinea pigs’ Camptown Races song (composed by my mother when I was probably being excessively grumpy one day). Today I was on the flat part of the run down to the village, and I yelled to the kids to ‘Get low’ so they would go faster on the slushy flat… and a father skiing with his youngen’ beside me started cracking up… and then each of the three times I passed him over the next hour would sing out ‘Apple bottom jeans, boots with the furrrrr’. Guess what song I skied to for the rest of the day?

Anyway, it turns out Queen Sassy-pants is a hiphop dancer and camp-song-singer extraordinaire, and it was awesomely entertaining when she and Keith got into a song-rap-off and Valley Girl ‘Like OMG’ conversation over lunch. I envy Queen Sassy-pant’s rhythm, ya’ll. That girl had some moves.

Saturday morning U4 group goggle face ski selfie.

On another day, I got the complete opposite (aka a special form a hell reserved for Carrie and I this week): four four-year-old boys. From the first moments of the day while sitting waiting for kids to arrive, I could tell it was going to be a nightmare, and this was quickly confirmed 20 minutes later when we officially started:

Me: Alright gentlemen. What do we want our team name to be?
Ringleader Child #1: The Tiny Penises!

I about choked and fell over.

We were the Stinky Underpants, and two of the four were kind of massive dicks.

Thankfully one was adorable, and I profusely thanked his parents for whatever they were doing to make their child so sweet and smiley and not literate in phrases like ‘fat gluteus maximus’ or ‘fat fanny’ (Seriously.) There was actually a moment where I almost sat down in the snow and cried. (This would not be the first time in my a life a four-year-old has made me cry. Worst. Age. Ever.)

Rockin’ that wedge, while my charges look like total disasters. How not to ski school.

On another day (today), I actually had a lovely bunch of coconuts who, despite two of four of them (boys, naturally) actively not wanting to turn, were mostly enjoyable, pleasant mini-human beings. At one point Mr Straightline (mini-Steve, and his sister, Ms Technical, was absolutely a mini-me) skis up right behind me: ‘Miss Tara? You look much better with your helmet on than with it off. Just saying.’ … thanks, kid. While I do appreciate your honesty (no one looks good with helmet hair), you need to work on your pick-up lines.

Anyway. I think I can pretty much sum this week up as follows: ridiculous amounts of sun, ridiculous tanlines, ridiculous fun conversations, ridiculous children and just general ridiculousness. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Happy Sunday, ya’ll.

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