Adventures of a Watergirl

I went to Samoa in the weekend to support the Hot Man in his first ever Half-Ironman – as his watergirl. I got there late Friday night and couldn’t sleep because I was so nervous about his event. Major freaking out as I ruminated over the 101 things that could possibly go wrong as my forty-three year old husband attempted to swim 2km (in an open harbour where Jaw’s second cousin likes to hang out), bike 90km up curving mountainous pot-holed roads with no sidewalks or markings, and then run 21km through the center of Apia township in the blistering 30+ degree heat. The swim was particularly terrifying because he only just started swimming 5 months ago – I mean, the man would swim one lap and stop to puke because he felt so sick doing it…how in heck was he going to swim for an hour without dying? More importantly (because as usual, everything is about ME),  how was I going to stand it watching him swim for an hour as I imagined all the mutant colossal squid creatures that were waiting to devour him?

So yeah, by the time we loaded the car with all his gear at 4.30am, I was an emotional wreck because I’d already envisioned him: drowning, getting eaten by sharks, crashing his bike in a gully, getting hit by a nutso Samoan bus, collapsing in a heat stroked puddle, dying by brain aneurysm or heart attack. And yet I was supposed to be the motivating, positive supporter… Ha.

It’s exhausting being a watergirl. Emotionally AND physically. Especially if you’re coming from the depths of NZ winter and get the (dumb) idea to use your waiting watergirling time to get lots of sun so “I can be nice and tanned!” The Hot Man took five hours and fifty-one minutes to do the course. In that time I prayed…cheered…muttered curse words under my breath when I had to run from one end of town to the other with ice because the roads were blocked off…chatted with nice volunteers and spectators…AND made every effort to stand in the blazing sun the entire time. (I may also have gone to McDonalds for breakfast but that’s because an athlete has nothing nice to eat at their house and I needed sustenance that wasn’t a protein shake, energy bar or electrolyte gel…yuck, yuck, yuck.)  Which meant that by the time the Hot Man crossed the finish line brandishing the Samoan flag because he was the very first Samoan to finish – I was sunburnt – AND dizzy, dehydrated, vaguely delirious and wanted to vomit.

In other words, I wasn’t a very good watergirl.

That afternoon, the Hot Man was cruising on an endorphin high – while I was hallucinating, standing in a cold shower and drinking heaps of water. I didn’t even go with him to the prizegiving because I was lying down in front of the fan. It took me 24 hrs to recover and by then it was time for me to get on a plane and fly back to Auckland winter.

But, heat exhaustion aside, I’m very grateful I got to be there when the Hot Man unleashed his ‘inner Ironman warrior.’ I’m in awe of his sheer will, endurance and fortitude. (And his man-warriorness in that triathlete skin suit aint half bad either…)

DarrenAndFlag

 

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9 comments

  1. Nah seriously, you have to have your own tv reality show. Hot man does the hard yards and you end up with the heat exhaustion. You are classic and classy in the same breathe. Water girl fail. Super support girl- YOU ROCK his socks. You got it right Lani. Have you considered…Ironwoman and Waterboy 😉

  2. Heat stroke is no joke! I think you had a trial of your own just enduring the elemental contrast and your worry (totally understandable) for your man! Glad you could share the adventure together! Maybe some seeds sown for your next novel? Eager fans await!!!

    1. He told me off heaps for being so silly about standing in the sun the whole day…yes, its defn not a joking matter. Flying to tropical heat from winter for only 48hrs does some wonky things to ones body I think.

  3. haha!!! Too hilarious. sounds like something that would happen to me. Minus the sunburning. I am always putting sunscreen on, but drinking enough water is another matter. Dont feel too bad. At least you made it to see his victory!!! Thats what matters……

    By the wy, your husband makes me feel like a complete lazy bones. I’m only 24 and yet I doubt I could even jog longer than 15 minutes…

    1. Im with you Sherre. He ALWAYS makes me feel like a lazybones… lol. Im naturally brown so I didn’t think I needed any sunblock etc, but defn overestimated my superwomanness in the sun all day.

      1. Hehe! I thought the same. I’m a nice honey/caramel color…(though my friends like to tell me I’m lighter…) so I didn’t think I could burn…and then one day I was out with some of my Caucasian friends who decided “tanning” was the thing to do….I sat out in the sun with them while they slathered on sunscreen and thought for some reason I was immune…45 minutes later I go inside and see a wonderful red tinge to my skin…a few hours later and my skin is peeling and ugly and painful…NEVER AGAIN!!!

  4. IT was so great to see you here in Samoa Supporting your Superman!! I am still wondering why my dad is crazy enough to join in these events even if it was only the 90k bike ride. I know if I was aware of his bike crash early on I would have been a paranoid daughter the entire day. I have finally realized that my dad thinks he is still young like your hubby, and if your Ironman do it, then dad is gonna give it a try!! – What are they thinking?? LOL

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