So I am not an Extreme person. I go to bed at 10pm, eat dinner out at 5:30, have had basically the same haircut since high school. The closest I get to risk taking is eating turkey meat that’s been open for awhile. You get the idea. So today, when I was sitting down to watch Friday Night Lights (with an appearance by Tim Riggins! But I digress) and I saw the Winter X Games were on, I instantly reached to change the channel and move on. But then I saw it was women’s skiing, so I decided to just watch one race.

You know how sometimes, you have a stressful week—sick kid, work pressure, friends going through really hard stuff you can do nothing to fix—and you just feel like curling up in a ball and giving up? Like, the opposite of anything tough and strong. That’s how I’ve been feeling, even though—thanks to your suggestions, mostly—my daughter’s fever finally broke after four days, and Vick’s Vapor Rub on her feet (I know!) made her cough stop. Still, it’s hard sometimes to not feel like the rocks the waves are constantly crashing on: I can’t do anything to stop all this stuff coming at me, but somehow, I keep trying. Why? I have no idea.

But anyway. So I’m watching this race, and these women. They are seriously hauling ass. This is not like Olympic skiiing, at least that I’ve seen. They are FLYING, going around these crazy banks and curves, so, so fast. My heart is in my mouth and all I can think is, how in the WORLD do you do that? Wouldn’t you be scared out of your mind? And that’s before I see the last, HUGE jump right before the finish. The three in front go up, up, up….and the first two crash. Like, BADLY. Total “agony of defeat moment,” for those of you old enough to remember Wide World of Sports. I literally feel sick as I watch the woman that actually got Gold writhe in the snow, moaning. She is DOWN, and I can’t stop watching, even though it’s giving me chills. The medics run on, they show the silver medalist wiping blood from her mouth, but she’s okay. Meanwhile, the winner—who I now know is Kelsey Serwa, from British Columbia—is still flat on her back. Plus, they keep replaying the footage, so we’re seeing her crash again, and again, and again.

A commercial comes on. I go outside, suck in some air. I am too codependent for Extreme Sports. It’s a gorgeous day, and I want to sit in the sun, but I have to know what happened to Kelsey, so I go back in. And you know what? A few minutes later, there she is, talking to a commentator. Her face is busted up and bleeding but she’s laughing and saying she’s “stoked,” that she won. I am flabbergasted. I mean, this girl just bit it, big time. She crashed, went head over feet over head, knocked the wind and God knows what else out of herself. But somehow—-SOMEHOW—she is up and talking and pushing on. She is okay. And if she can do that, well, then I can certainly pull up my big girl pants and get it together here in my non-Extreme world. So thank you, Kelsey Serwa. You are a rock star. I wish I was half as tough as you are.

If you want to see what I’m talking about, here’s the link. Again: whoa. (Edited: looks like the link got taken down. But I’m sure it will turn up someplace.)

Okay, now I’m off to cook dinner, try to catch up on my sleep, and embrace February. It may bust me out on my back and pop open my lip, but no matter. I will get back up again!

Have a good night, everyone!