So tired. Crazy day. Woke up at 4, having a bad dream. In it Chris and I were fighting in public. We’re on some busy city street – maybe we’re in Paris? – and there’s a café on the corner and he sits at this big round table full of strangers, only one extra seat for him, and orders breakfast. I’m like, What about me? Hello? And he’s just giving me the silent treatment. Talk to the hand while I drink my café au lait.
I think I was just anxious about today’s practice with CHEER New York. The coach Felipe emailed a handful of the less experienced recruits last night like, Anyone up for an impromptu CHEER 101 practice? I was like YES, even though it meant taking the bus three hours to do so.
So I lay in bed a while and then the alarm went off at 6 and we got ready for the gym. We’ve been going every day while we’ve been upstate, a good way to begin. I ran six miles today. Really hard, but good. I wanted to push myself. Always I’m trying to just be in the moment, not wish for it to be over and I swear it’s crazy but whenever I can remember to do that I always discover all these things. Like a couple buttons on the treadmill I never noticed, like you can lock the screen to just show you what you want instead of it flashing through all these different things. I just wanted to look at the time, watch it tick by, feel it. Also discovered if you bang at the side of the treadmill in a certain way the heart graphic for the heart rate monitor pops up. I like seeing that heart. Tapped it ten times at the end of my run.
My mind kinda wandered at times and sometimes I’d just let it, like I can be running in place but in my mind I can travel the world. I can be in Japan, France, then England then Egypt like in seconds. I can also time travel. I’m running running running and thinking, let’s go somewhere we haven’t been in a long time. Second grade. Let’s go there.
What do I remember about second grade? Funny thing to remember today cuz it kinda has to do with cheerleading. In second grade I was obsessed with Charlie’s Angels. Totally got a bunch of girls to play it with me but arranged it so I always got to be Jaclyn Smith. Somewhere people caught on that I wasn’t “supposed” to play that part and at recess a bunch of kids created a cheer to clearly send me a message. It went, KEITH! You’re not supposed to be a girl! KEITH! You’re supposed to be a boy! And so on. Not my favorite day. Don’t feel too sorry for me, though. Sure, I was kinda mortified but whatevs. I told my girls how much that hurt my feelings and then you know what? We just never played Charlie’s Angels again. Gosh, what did I ever do at recess after that? Stand around.
After the gym we stopped at Sweet Sue’s for a muffin, amazing, and then we went home and I unlocked the shed to restock our ration of firewood on the porch. Living my country fantasy up there and I like it. Love that one minute I’m hauling firewood and the next I’m catching the bus to go to my gay cheerleading practice.
Do you ever do these like borderline psychotic mind games when you really want something? Like if I can run from my house to the bus stop without stopping it means I’ll make the team. If I can dislodge this chunk of ice and kick it across the street on the first try, it means I’ll make the team. I dunno, weird. Was staring in a book shop window and told myself, I’m gonna scan these book covers and then my eyes are gonna land on one and it’s gonna give me a sign on whether I’ll make the team. The book I landed on won the Pulitzer, I think that’s a good sign.
Anyway, took the bus back to the city and then did some other things to fierce out for the practice. Got a haircut. They totally offered me a shot of bourbon, weird, but nice? Not so great on an empty stomach, though. The barber was talking to me, don’t know what he was saying. Everything felt a little fuzzy, so relaxed. His jabber just kinda faded a w a y. . .
Bought myself a red t-shirt from AA. Tonight was just a practice so you didn’t technically have to wear red and blue like at the tryout on the 13th but I figured it might score me some points. Totally did. The other guy in practice with me, Jason, was like, Were we supposed to wear red and blue tonight?? And Felipe was like, Nah, Keith’s just marketing himself.
Practice was cool. I was sooo nervous and I think it totally showed. Felipe kept telling me to relax and smile. In my mind I just want to get it perfect and while technique IS super important ya gotta just fierce it, have fun with it. I promised myself I would do that more. I really love it, but I do feel kinda uncoordinated. I can get it, I’m just slow, takes me longer than most to "write" the moves down. Worried I'm gonna be too slow but gonna keep at it. Just keep smiling.
They emailed me this amazing handout that illustrates the basic cheer moves and has lots of helpful pointers. It does say to just smile always, even when you eff up. I like that idea, just pretending like Whatevs when you make mistakes and just show your spirit. Gotta just practice a lot. I can do this.
We met at 8 and didn’t finish until after 11. Felipe and Scott, the other team member, were so amazing, so cute, so great. And when they would smile their eyes would sparkle bright and I'd just swoon.