PAIGE 32 - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

The running seems to have intensified, also the wife-carrying. There were some people kicking as they were running as well. I said to Des that's a very novel way of unbottling your anger.

The Triathlon is coming up in about two weeks as I figure, and Des is starting to talk more about it. It explains why the Russians are practising so hard, although what their training methods are remain forever a mystery to me. Des didn't seem of the age or physique to be taking part in the running, or wife-carrying, so I asked him was he participating, and what in? He said that he is the undisputed leader of Sparrow Falls at cheese-hurling. I asked him what that was. I don't think you need my answer.

Apparently though, Des has an uncanny ability to understand the physics of coagulated-milk-in-flight, and is only bested by some younger man from The Wold. I asked him how long the Triathlon has been going for, and he said as long as he could remember, and he's a fair bit older than me. It is now known as the Triathlong.

I remember when I was growing up, learning to ride my first bicycle. Dad took me down some creek area near our house, and taught me how to balance. I think the first time I actually rode without wheels, I didn't realize my Dad had taken them off. We were in the habit of putting them on, taking them off every couple days or so, even every couple hours as I was learning how to ride the thing. I got pretty frustrated I remember, especially when the first time he took off my training wheels I fell onto the hard pavement and cried. But he said again again and I said no I've had enough but he insisted, and so I rode. Actually I think I rode a bit angrily, because I wanted to go home, but he kept saying go at it go at it, so I went at it. Then the next time I fell off I said Dad I hate this bike can you put the training wheels on again please? And he said sure and put them back on. I remember having a good long ride then practising balancing, and my Dad encouraging me. Then we stopped a bit and had an icecream at a stand, and my Dad said alright Livi it's time to head back. So off we went again, and my Dad walked beside me, we went over the creek bridge before I suddenly fell off, and then I realized Dad had taken my training wheels. I got so angry at him and said Dad why have you taken off my training wheels without even telling me? But for some reason he was tearing up, and I said Dad whats the matter? He said my dear Olivia, look at the ice cream cart. And I looked back, and the ice cream cart was in the distance, like way in the distance, and then I realized he had taught me how to ride.

Dad, thank you for your love. It was hard sometimes, but look at me now, I can even walk on my own two feet.

- Livi