One of my favorite things about the LiveSTRONG event is actually the activity of the day before. This year was no exception...with certain exceptions.
Little Fish and I love going to the LiveSTRONG village to pick up race packets. So many people there. So many stories. I went to register and the woman there saw our team amount.
"Rob Duffield and TEAM FISH OR CUT BAIT -- more than $4,000!!!!" Everyone in the tent started cheering. It's for you, Team Fish! Thank you!
We also went to the LiveSTRONG wall. It's a place where friends and families can place the names of loved ones who have fought the disease, in their honor or their memory. This year, I brought the names of those remembered by Team Fish's members, and Little Fish and I put every one of them on the wall. It's a very emotional time for me anyway, but this year, even more so. It was the highpoint to celebrate those survivors, and a time for reflection upon those who are not with us. It's one of those times that will always be with me.
As promised, Team Fish or Cut Bait earned the systematic and honorary leg shaving. Let's get a couple of things straight about leg shaving. First, it should get easier if you do it more.
By extension, that means that this year should have been easier than last. Throw that theory right out the window. Ankles and knees? Who the hell invented these things? Stage one was my clippers to get the fur down to a manageable level -- think: dethatch. Their fairly good barber's clippers. I cut myself with those. Who cuts themselves with barber's clippers? Apparently, Fish does.
Second, how does one manage to shave with the razor entire without incident except for the back of the knees? It's like someone wrote a special instruction booklet for this area. I didn't get the instruction booklet. So I shaved it. Badly. Who knew so much blood could some out of that cut? I know. I'll just rinse it off by jumping in the showwwwwOWOWOWOWOWer! What the hell?!?!??!?!? Okay. That just ain't right!
This did not bode well for the Iowa Contingent Challenge. Every year, my friend Bill and his slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing band of troglodytes offer the Iowa Contingent Challenge. This year was a little haphazard in it's approach, but we still managed to pull something together. Bill is a good guy. We like Bill. Bill helps me raise a lot of money. But Bill also likes making Fish suffer a little extra, just for the fun of it, I suspect. This year's Iowa Contingent Challenge was to shave my head.
Now normally, I wouldn't worry too much about that, except in light of what I just went through with my legs and the razor blade. And, the barber's clippers. Verrrrrrrrrrrrrry carefully, I took the first swath. Not bad. The second went just as easily. Turns out barber's clippers are meant for shaving one's head. Who knew? So, I took the rest of it down with the clippers. So far, so good. Then it was blade time, and my hand was shaking worse that the barber who had to give Clint Eastwood's Man-With-No-Name a shave in High Plains Drifter.
I put on shaving oil. I put on shaving cream. And then I took blade to head and went to town. It was rough, but not hard. It's kind of like cutting through low-grit sand paper. It was not a quick process, nor did I expect it to be.
On the second swath, I heard Mrs. Fish ask, "What are you doing in there?"
"Are you shaving your legs, again?"
"NOOOOO." How silly.
"JUST WHAT ARE YOU SHAVING???"
"Is this because of that Iowa guy, AGAIN?"
"What ARE you shaving?"
A sigh. I don't know if it was relief or despair.
She asked, "How much is he donating?"
"They're giving me $425 dollars," I announced, hopefully.
"I'll give you $500 not to."
"It's a little too late, now."
The sigh again, then silence.
When it was over, I emerged and smiled.
"OH MY GOD!" she screamed. Yeah, it's a little shocking. Might take a bit of getting used to.
"Who wants to eat," I asked.