I brought my sister to boot camp.
“You’re spending the night?” I asked. (She was coming into town for the evening.) “Great. You can come to boot camp with me.”
My sister is hard core. She played hockey and football with boys until she was 14 years old. Her elementary school principal helpfully forbade her from playing flag football at recess. She suggested perhaps my sister could be a cheerleader instead. How did my sister respond? She toilet paperws and whip-creamed the principal’s car, an offense for which she was caught and for which she was ultimately brutally punished. She was always among the most aggressive in her leagues. She checked, tackled and bled with the best of them. In short, my sister is my hero.
Of course she was coming to boot camp. She agreed eagerly and we ate dinner together and talked about projects we are working on together. I feel blessed ad finitum to have her in my life.
We went to bed a little later than usual for me on a school night – around 9:30pm.
“I’m waking you up at 4:50am,” I told her, “We need to roll by 5:05.”
She groaned. “Ok, goodnight.”
In the morning she was groggy and pitiful, begging me to let her sleep. “Please, please,” she said, “Let me sleep. Can’t you see I’m tired and my head hurts?”
“You are groggy and pitiful.” I replied. “Get up. You will regret it if you don’t come – we’re going to have fun. Besides, I told you that you would regret drinking that white wine.”
Who else has a sister who will put enough faith in you to believe that boot camp will be fun, even at 5:30am in the morning? She rolled over. She groaned.
I walked away.
She got up.
I made her listen to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” at full blast while we drove to camp. She did not object.
I turned the volume down for a second to explain: “I do this every morning. This is my favorite motivation song in the whole world. I can get through anything with this song.”
“It’s pretty good.” she admitted.
And that’s saying a lot.
(Mom’s spaghetti… success is my only mother-fucking option, failure’s not.”)
We suffered terrifically. It was a hard day with a lot of pushups and an assload of ab work. Daniel was a champ, hounding her for form and quality like only Daniel can.
“Hey!” she complained over Stumptown coffee afterward, “he picked on me!”
“Your form sucked ass.” I said.
“I was copying you.” she replied.
“Like hell,” I said, “Do you remember January 2006 or is your memory failing in your old age?”
In September of 2005 during a moment of bad-ass-fever she challenged me to a pull-up contest. We scheduled the event for the following January and I dove headfirst into the strictest training regimen that I have ever followed. And in January 2006 I man-handled her with a personal record of 8 pull-ups (to her three).
Why do I have to rest on these laurels?
Cite a childhood of being 8 years younger, 8 years shorter, 8 years weaker. Remember when you used to hold me down and torture me? Try it. I dare you.
Our has always been a friendly rivalry. Sure, she may have been a better softball player in her high school days (maybe, don’t get too carried away) but she didn’t play in college and I did. Sure, she played hockey and footbal but I ran cross country and excelled. She worked on a crabbing boat in Alaska, I lived in Calcutta for 6 months holding people while they died.
We are good at different things. We compete but love each other intensely. Our mother raised bulldogs.
Sometimes we scrap but we’re always loyal.