Movie Montage Race Day

by Tabitha Kidwell

When I was in Indonesia, I pictured life in America like a movie montage:   a parade of one wonderful event after another, surrounded by friends, under a bright blue sky. I quickly realized, however, that most days in America consist of dragging yourself out of bed, spending a few hours on the internet, going to Target, and maybe staying awake long enough to see a friend or two after they finish work.  Yesterday, though, the dream became reality – just in time for my friend Jackie’s 30th birthday!

We started the day by waking up at 5 AM for the Cleveland Triathlon. (Okay, that 5 AM part was terrible, but it gets better, I promise.) Jackie and I started doing triathlons together in Indonesia – we even bought our (identical) bikes at a Jakarta bike shop together. We did a few triathlons in Southeast Asia, and did fairly well, given that most of the races (and racers) were tiny. So we were nervous for a normal American triathlon with lots of normal American people with fancy bike gear.

It was so cold before the race that we were actually happy to get into the polluted but warmer-than-air waters of Lake Erie:


After a cramped, treading-water start that left us out of breath, we swam…






…and got medals!


Then, just as we were about to leave, we stopped by the results board and were shocked to see this:


To celebrate, we went to Gospel Bunch at Cleveland’s House of Blues, where we listened to amazing gospel music and ate chicken & waffles.


Then, we went to a festival in the Warehouse District where I played cornhole with cute boys and Jackie danced in the street.


I mean, can you get any more “movie montage” than dancing in the street?!?!

Though I understand that this isn’t typical of an average American day, it holds lessons for me as I re-adapt to life here. Jackie explores this connection more poetically in her blog about the day. So I will just say this: at the moment, I may be metaphorically kicking and scratching to keep my head above the stinking waters of Lake Erie at 7 in the morning. But once I move past current challenges (e.g., unemployment, living with parents, love life going nowhere) and get started on this race called life, I’m basically going to kick butt. And really deserve some chicken and waffles.

One Comment to “Movie Montage Race Day”

  1. Tab, Wherever you go, warm water or cold, America, Indonesia or Madagascar – you rock the kasbah! Congratulations on your performance in the triathlon and travel safely to Winchester! Look forward to seeing you! xo

    ~ Liz England


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