I dragged my carcass outta bed Sunday morning after a 4 hour nap between days to go volunteer at a duathlon in San Marcos. Yeah, it was my own fault I didn't get to bed until 1am and I only have myself to blame for volunteering but I'm still going to complain about the Angry Vegetarian Duathlete. Besides, I love being an athletic supporter. ;-)
My friend Chel makes sure that I am a part of the athletic community even when I'm at my couch potato worst. She believes in tough love and in your face lessons and in the past has kicked my butt into a healthier place. So, at 5:40am I rolled up to her place and we headed off, slightly bleary-eyed, to the Darnd'st Du.
Chel's a member of Austin Duathletes, the crazy group who goes out first thing in the morning and runs a 5K before biking a few 20 miles or so. They also have spectacularly fun pub runs, which involves running to a bar, drinking, then running to the next one. Check out Chel's blog for pics of her bashed up knee, courtesy of running into a bike rack outside Rainbow Cattle Company last week.
But I digress. The story here is that after spending the early morning hours slicing two cases of tomatoes for the chow line and cheering on duathletes I ended up serving freshly grilled burgers and hot dogs. I knew there was going to be a problem when the veggie burgers started going fast. The sun was scorching, sweat was trickling down in the most annoying places and trust me when I say "moist" was the word of the day. But I was happy, doing what I do best, smiling and chatting away with the athletes I was serving. Until the Boca burgers ran low.
The first several vegetarians who came through my line and found that we were out of veggie burgers were disappointed but polite. One of them made a "salad burger" with his hamburger bun, lettuce, tomato and onion plus condiments. When you're that hungry, after running a combined total of 6.2 miles and biking 12 miles in the 100 degree weather, you do what you gotta do for nutrition. Luckily there was a table with bananas nearby as well.
The lowlight of the duathlon was the Angry Vegetarian Duathlete. When I told her we were out of veggie burgers, she slammed her paper plate down on the table in front of me, bouncing the bun off it and yelled "damnit!!" into my face. She stood, hands on hips, scowling at me as I quietly apologized, explaining that we were given only a limited number of veggie patties and had simply run out. She said nothing else but gave me one last glare and turned, stalking off. I recovered enough to greet the next person and serve up a 100% beef burger but my mind was racing.
Why was I so polite to someone who verbally attacked me? Probably because I realize that when you've pushed your body to the limit and you're drained of energy you can become quite testy in the search of food. But seriously? Why curse at the person serving you, who had no part in ordering the food she was helping to prepare and pass out? And I was in "upbeat and chipper support staff" mode and just couldn't pass from cheerleader to street floozy in the 5 seconds the Angry Vegetarian was in front of me so I missed my moment where I could've released my inner bitch.
But after she took off, leaving me shocked at her outburst (really, most athletes are very appreciative to have volunteers out at events no matter if the vegetarian option has run out) I thought of all the come backs I didn't utter. Such as "Well, if you'd just trained harder you would've made better time and been back sooner and scored a veggie burger!".
Or, "I was soooo hungry after showing up to cheer your ungrateful self on to victory that I just had to eat both cases of Boca burgers". Or even "I know the saying is 'fat & happy' but I didn't realize the flip side was 'lean & crabby'.
The Austin Duathletes commiserated with me, as we drank beers & mimosas before cleaning up the dregs of the food table. They were as shocked as I was that an athlete was so crappy to a volunteer/supporter. We had a great round of laughs at the Angry Vegetarian Duathlete's expense. She has no idea that her rudeness spawned creative stories that all started with "I would've said..." and much laughing at her militant rancor. Wherever she is, I hope she's eaten a sandwich. All natural peanut butter, of course.
This blog is in no way meant to diminish the accomplishments of the many fine athletes out that morning. These phenomenal athletes showed up with one sole purpose: to meet, greet and destroy their personal challenge while most of Central Texas was still asleep in bed. Special congratulations go out to the team members of Camp Punishment, who kicked some serious asphalt at the Du. You guys ROCK!