lately i had begun to think that none of my dreams would ever come true. oh, sorry, i think i am using the term “dreams” rather loosely. i don’t really have any of those kind that begin with “someday i’ll be…” or “i want to achieve success in the field of…” i just wasn’t built that way.
it was revisiting this thought, that most of the dreams i dream are rather small, that finally cheered me up a bit this weekend, as it also brought me to the realization that i have actually been living out many of my dreams left and right! first off, i now own and love a vixen bandit dildo (which i promise to review later this week), started taking a water aerobics class (more on that in another post), and finally made it into the basement of the staples center!
but let me start at the beginning. it was friday, august 1st, 2008 at 2:30 p.m. joseph and i were headed to the X-Games 14 women’s street skate finals, which were being held on a large course built on a parking lot just outside the staples center in downtown l.a. we were going there to watch my friends amy caron, vanessa torres, sophie poppe, and evelien bouilliart compete. i was also looking forward to watching marisa dal santo, as i had never seen her skate in person, and leticia bufoni, whom i had seen the weekend before at the S3 Supergirl competition in huntington beach. leticia is a 15 year-old brazilian tiny who skates like a maniac. look, i don’t know anything about skating and i won’t pretend to, but i know what i like to watch. it’s fun to watch them when they have serious tenacity and keep going after a trick until they get it, or make it look easy (i think that’s called “style”). anyway, i love watching little leticia almost as much as i like watching my good friends skate. marisa (who won the silver medal that day) was fucking awesome to watch too, as well as (obviously) the day’s gold medal winner elissa steamer. but my most favorite skater EVER, partly because she’s awesome at skating, partly because she is really funny, and partly because last summer she looked-after my black-out drunken ass in ways i may never know, is amy caron, and i am so proud of her for winning the bronze medal!
the competition was set up in three jams of seven minutes each on different parts of the course. sophie hooked joe and i up with her friends and family passes, so the view was great to watch the comp, but not so great for taking pics because i couldn’t actually get on the course. everyone was skating really well, but it seemed by the third jam, which was on a rail, that leticia bufoni and rachel reinhard were duking it out for third place, at least that’s what the announcers were saying. it did seem like they were both hitting the pavement hard trying to complete some fancy kickflips over the stairs, and according to what the girls said later, that part of the course was really gnarly, which i assume means steep. it’s hard to get that perspective when you are standing beside it, but i guess it looks much more daunting standing at the top staring down at the pavement below, or rather careening toward it on a piece of wood with wheels on it
anyway, as i said, amy had been skating well, but i don’t think she felt like she was in medal contention, or at least that’s what i was getting from her body language after the third jam. when she heard that she was currently in fourth place just before the final jam began, though, it was really on. the crowd watched her kick it into overdrive, and it was an amazing thing to see. if i remember correctly, she was the only person to skate the ledge, and the trick she did was beautiful. it is called a 5-0 and please don’t ask me why that is, but here is what it looked like. after this part there was a perfect landing and a lot of cheering. it was awesome.
the rest, as they say, is history. amy won the bronze medal at X-Games for the second year in a row and it was time to celebrate. the first thing we did was head down to the athlete’s lounge at the staples center to hang out and wait for her to be done with interviews and stuff. the passes we had enabled us to go down there, but we needed to have another special pass to actually WALK down there. it was kind of ridiculous, but it made me feel very special and VIP when we finally found someone to escort us down. okay, so i never realized i had always dreamed of walking into the bowels of the staples center until i was doing it, but it was just sort of exhilarating! almost as exciting as the actual athlete’s lounge, which was stocked with all manner of free non-alcoholic beverages, a catering station, baskets and baskets of powerbar products, a free photobooth, massage therapist, flat screen tv, leather couches, and a unisex bathroom! i felt like kobe bryant himself! i’m pretty sure i opened one of each of every free drink in the place just to taste it. unfortunately i am a moron who was in the direct sun for four hours that day and i lost my head, so the only two pictures i have of the experience are one of half of sophie’s face and marisa and evelien eating free sandwiches and one of amy texting really gay-ly. BEST DAY EVER.
now, i know this coverage isn’t exactly in-depth, as i obviously know nothing about the technical aspects of skateboarding, but i wanted to share my day with you. i was super-disappointed when i went to the X-Games blog and was met with this post about the women’s event, which is lackluster at best, and downright offensive at worst. i guess it is supposed to be flip and funny in the classic skateboarder way, but i didn’t find it amusing and a lot of the information was wrong. one would think that in a sports world that lives outside of the norm, that women wouldn’t have to work extra hard to be considered legit, but i guess some things are universal.
anyway, here is the video of the highlights they posted, thankfully.
on the up-side, i had a great time hanging out with all the girls at once. sophie and evelien were visiting from belgium, vanessa was down from northern california, marisa says funny stuff and is from chicago, and meeting leticia was really cool, even though there is a language barrier. these women have the ultimate respect for each other, as athletes and as people, and they drive each other, which makes the sport even better.
*the picture of amy’s 5-0 trick was taken by ashley brennan (click to make photos larger). you can see a few more of my pics from the competition and the ensuing madness on my Flickr page.