Friday, 24 September 2010

The aftermath

If I were to appear on Mastermind my specialist subject would be Celebrity. And celebrities themselves (except Kiera Knightly, that pout is so annoying. And Madonna. She needs to put it away). I can name all the children of Heidi & Seal, SJP, my favourite Posh, Jamie & Jools; I can tell you who's been with who and where they've been spotted and who divorced whom to be with who. Even the Z-listers (except the really lowly Big Brother ones, I can't bear to read about them). I'm aware that this makes me a bit of a saddo. Not that I would ever ask for an autograph if I were to bump into someone famous in the street. In fact I would go out of my way to ignore them (Becca from Hollyoaks eating in our local pub, for example; or Martin Freeman in Pizza Express at Westfield. Or even Gok in Selfridges. All of these I have religiously turned my nose up at). Of course as soon as I get out of their radar I promptly post the celeb-spot on FB for friends to confirm their points value (I know these are no high scorers) and get rather excited. I am a closet-non-stalking-celeb-lover.

By now you will know that we are back from Budapest and into the one month of 'no training' to let the body rest and re-cooperate before we get into the hard winter training ("winter miles summer smiles" is how we like to refer to it). OH has shown remarkable stamina so far in sticking to this mantra with only the small blips of one gym class and one cycle ride taking place in the last 4 days. With the consumption of 3 pints at lunchtime today he has shown me that he really is giving himself a break - and giving the people in his office a bit of a laugh I would think, judging from the state he arrived home in tonight.

But, yes, we're back. The World Champs event over. It was rather cool, actually. With OH performing better than we had anticipated - despite him taking his crappy road bike and youth-sized helmet instead of his fancy TT bike and super-duper helmet, he still managed a very creditable 37th out of 120 in his age category and a new PB of under 2 hours. So we were chuffed. And have learned lots of lessons (the first being to take the fancy TT bike and the super-duper helmet - in comparison to everyone else racing he looked like he had turned up with a BMX with a basket on the front).

Watching the races though - and in particular the Elite event with its TV cameras and helicopters and road closures and pre-race interviews in cushiony hotels - I started to think about how sports people now have their own celeb status. I don't think this is a bad thing necessarily (except for Wayne and the doormat Coleen - there's always one who ruins it for everyone else). At least these people are famous for achieving something rather than just for sitting in a house for a thousand weeks doing nothing but moaning, crying and eating. Now I'm not saying that OH has anywhere near any kind of celebrity status in any way shape or form at all, and not that he would ever even wish to be any kind of celebrity, but I do think that his achievement in qualifying for the event in Budapest is outside of the normal bump and grind of every day life: maybe OH has become my own little mini celeb? Sometimes I feel like a Manager as I print out boarding passes and arrange insurance and pack cases that's for sure.

Think about it. Entourage - tick. Me and the nearly-in-laws (otherwise known as OH's parents) trekked out to Buda to watch and support our little triathlete. On some occasions the entourage was literal. Somewhat foolishly we decided we wanted to get a sense of the city so didn't get a taxi from the airport to the hotel, but to get the local train service instead. We then thought it would be sensible to walk the remaining god knows how many miles to the hotel from the train station - all so that OH could get a first glimpse of the bike course. Normally I would not have minded this. But please bear in mind that we had all of our suitcases and that I was wearing my nice leather boots - which you can guess were not of the 'ideal to walk 3 miles in' variety. We also had the bike. This was not fun. Packed into into its carry case it actually took on the look and feel of a mini horse. It's huge. As I trudged the streets of Budapest dragging along the Shetland bike bag I tried to ignore the funny looks on the Hungarian faces who quite honestly seemed like they had already had enough of this annoying triathlon business disrupting their daily lives.

Then there's the diva-ness. Picture the scene. It's 2am, the morning before the race. We have to be up at 5am for the taxi. We are wide awake despite having been in bed since 9pm. OH has announced that his sore throat has flared up - admittedly he does have a recurring sore throat problem - my not so favourite incident being when the Doctor told me/him that it was the worst case he had ever seen and if OH's throat were to get any more closed over I should take him to A&E. But honestly, this throat condition only seems to come on in the lead up to a race so I was a bit sceptical that the throat really was sore. Was it more in his head? Had he decided that he didn't want to enter because he had only got a push-bike to race on? But being the ever so supportive girlfriend I am I talked to him soothingly until he dropped off and I was satisfied that he was deep in sleep (as opposed to dead) before finally allowing myself to drift off....for the 3 seconds sleep until the alarm went off.

And the screaming fans. Of course I am (in all seriousness) very proud of him, he thoroughly deserved the shouts of support from the GB fans. But above all this, he seemed more thrilled with the fact that a man with a camera on the back of a motorbike followed him running for about a mile - checking out his kit and trainers and running style it seems. And yes, OH did do the stupid 2 thumbs-up salute (dear god) although I was relieved to hear that he stopped short of doing a Usain Bolt. OH is searching YouTube for this footage as we speak.

And Facebook. And Twitter. This is the thing that gets me the most about OH and his celebrity jaunt. He point blank refuses to join either of these networking sites and yet always wants to know if I have updated my status to reflect his new achievements - and then sit back and wait for the adoration to roll in. But wait! Maybe I am being unduly harsh. He actually is pretty shy and wouldn't act like a spoilt celeb (in public anyway) so perhaps my comparison is unfair. Well. Having said that - let me think back to two days ago: just finished the first day back at work and OH waltzes through our front door. Apparently one of the girls in his office has googled him the day after the race and has told everyone in the office that he was racing and how he got on. People he has barely spoken to thus far have come up to him to pass on congratulations and engage in conversations. As he kisses me on the cheek on the way in, he announces: "I'm famous!"

I rest my case.