18 May 2008

Champions, profiling, it feels like... burning

State went really well. Got my first meet plaque -- pretty nice to have the first one be a state one. Awesome seeing so many of my athletes on top of the podium. Great having coaches recognize my work with the kids and say they are afraid of what we will produce next season.

Only a little bit of drama at the hotel. They saw us coming in and called for security to find out "where the party is going". What?! I had to go off on them. Especially after the guard they sent up was really rude to my coaching staff. Went to talk with the manager who was really not trying to hear anything I had to say about how a bunch of African American people who are happy does not mean there is going to be a party going down. He said that he saw two girls skipping into the hotel, and then a group of boys following them. Ummm... none of them skipped in. And you couldn't see that my big old 40-some odd year old throwing coach was with them, along with two upper 20 year old males, and two grown women? You didn't remember checking us all in the night before, saying that we were the 5 chaperones? I reminded him how when we checked in, I told him we were here for the State track championships. He had even wished us luck. I told him that his way of dealing with the issue and the guard's way of talking with us was uncalled for. Let him know that it was offensive as a person of color to have someone make assumptions about us that were completely unjustified. Of course, he wasn't trying to hear me. Of course he continued to try and cover his ass. In the morning, I talked with a different manager who was much more understanding and said she would deal with the other guy.

I am burned. Yes - brown people can burn. I usually just peal a bit on the nose and maybe some on the shoulders. But that is usually after repeated days (more than 5 in a row) in the sun. This was just one day. My shoulders are actually kind of red underneath the brown.

It hurts. Yesterday after the meet, I could not even put a shirt back on to cover the tank. My shoulders are tender to the touch. Even the seams of my t-shirt hurt them. The bed sheets hurt. Rolling over in bed was a problem last night. The shower beads of water hurt.

I know that you are supposed to put some kind of aloe or something on them from listening to all my white friends, but when I went to the store, there were too many options to choose from. Fortunately, there was a kind white woman who assisted me in understanding what to do -- take some ibuprofen, try not to wear any straps of any kind that put pressure on, and get this spray stuff to cool and help heal the skin. She was very helpful. And didn't even look at me weird when my dark brown-ass said I was sunburned and needed some advice.

So far, the spray is not really working. Actually, that is not completely true. It feels great when it is first sprayed on, but after it dries up, it really makes no difference. The can says to spray no more than 3-4 times a day, but I think I am about to spray again. That will make 3 so far today. May have to go back out and get some of the gels. The lady said those cool, but don't have the analgesic power of the spray.

The weather still feels wonderful today. I guess this is how white people get so burned -- I want to go back out there and stay for a long time. I already went for lunch outside, now I want to go run (which I should do since I have the desire and haven't done so regularly in years), or just walk, or sit and read outside. But, unlike some fairer skinned people, I will cover my stuff up so it does not burn more.

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