Stoke Factor: 7
Miserableness Factor: 3
Snot Rockets Blown: 0
Avg Speed: 14.5mph
Slow to rise out of Bill and Saraleigh’s home, I took the time to do my eyeliner. I put on my new base layer I bought at REI and for the first time in a long time I felt like the woman I was- the way it hugged my body and accentuated my “features” felt amazing. I was infinitely warm, and wearing it meant that I could save my cotton clothes for sleeping, so I wouldn’t have to smell myself any longer during my lengthy REM cycles. I took extra care with myself- I had no idea what was next for me. I had planned to meet up with a fellow skateboarder who drove to Des Moines to do a few miles and camp out with me for a few days. Planning that was the worst: I never had any idea what I was doing, when I would be anywhere, or how long I would stay. I felt bad for being so distant but his commitment to the project was obvious.
Around 11am, after an oatmeal breakfast (which was amazing), I said my final goodbyes to Bill and Saraleigh. I was going to miss them. Much like Dan and Elly, and many others along the way, they made me feel like family. I was grateful for the opportunity to have met them. Out the door I went, and after a few selfies together I headed to meet Izzy at Gray’s Lake, only a short distance away. It was Saturday, and the same exact day The Adrenalina Skateboard Marathon was being hosted in my hometown of San Diego. I felt guilty for not being there- just last year I moved to San Diego and placed second to Alyssa Monteiro in the race. I remembered promising her I would be back with a vengeance in 2017, but unfortunately I was unable to make it, locked inside Des Moines chasing my dreams. I decided that I was going to do my own marathon around Gray’s Lake to compare myself to the posted times for the event.
It was neither warm nor cold, the perfect weather for a marathon. Upon meeting Izzy we briefly chatted, then began. There was no start or end point- my goal was to skate my heart out until my watch read 26.2 miles. Loaded up on oatmeal, I felt well prepared for the task at hand. Izzy on the other hand doubted himself greatly. It didn’t matter to me. For the first time since I won the races in Oregon I had an opportunity to skate without my backpack, allowing freedom of motion and a lot more energy to be expended. The only issue was the course- it was literally double the amount of elevation to come that Adrenalina had, which also meant it had more than double the descent. There was no way that my time could have been compared to any marathon time, but I liked the thought of being able to look at my time and everyone else’s times.
Once we began, I fired off. The downhill part was exciting, and I hit 26mph on it around the first turn, which launched me up the steepest section without a snag. From there, it gracefully winded down again at a 1% grade, giving me a chance to pump without putting a foot down. After, I curved around the lake and over the bridge. The gaps in the bridge slowed me down, but I was keeping a 4:18 pace per mile. Passing by walkers and runners with their dogs, they double took while I raced through. Each lap was 2 miles around. Adrenalina was 6 laps around an island, meaning each lap was 4 miles. With my different course, I was able to learn my lines a lot quicker- down the hills and through the winding sections. By the third time around I had locked myself into how I was going to handle the course.
After the first hour I had quite literally set myself up for a record time on a marathon. My top speeds maxed well above anything everyone was able to hit in San Diego. I was on fire and still feeling good. At the end of hour 1 I was more than halfway through, demolishing any marathon record I ever set. The short course laps were good in some aspects but overall it became easier for me to want to give up, seeing all of the same sights again and again and again. The dogs had to be restrained nearly every 9 minutes. Whether it was a sign of bad training or just natural instinct to chase a skateboard was beyond me.
Around and around I went. Izzy’s board broke on mile 4, immobilizing him and forcing him off the course. He rebuilt the board by drilling new mounting holes below where the tail separated from the body, but by the time he jumped back on the board I was already finished. I laid myself down on a picnic table, happy that I just completed my greatest marathon yet. I finished with a time of 1:48:20. That was an amazing time- the winners of the marathon in San Diego had a time of 1:37:xx, and Alyssa had a time of 2:01:xx. That meant that I beat her- but at the same time it meant absolutely nothing. Unless she was also hitting nearly 30mph on a section of the course, the times were completely unable to be compared. Was I upset about that? Not at all. I just felt amazing for doing it.
I coughed my brain out of my head and slowed my heart rate back to normal. I was soaked in sweat, and during my recovery it became frosty cold on my back. I so desperately wanted to change out of my clothes, but at the same time I was enjoying looking feminine once again. Izzy and I decided to head into the city to grab some food. I was reminded that Board is, as a parasite, essentially sheds your intestines, causing lactose intolerance. I didn’t know what to think about that. I didn’t really consider that it was happening to me- how could i? I was Calleigh, conquerer of the USA with a skateboard and a good attitude.was I going to let something like a stop for pizza stand in the way of me not having to hold my gut while I shit my brains out? Nope.
So we got pizza. We stopped at Fong’s in Des Moines, a weirdly kitschy chinese pizza place. In order to get there, we skated down a garage in the city. My legs weren’t having it, but we did it a few times. Though Izzy wasn’t going to be able to skate east with me, I wanted him to have the experience he was hoping for in meeting me. A lot of the things he was saying reminded me of myself- lost in the world, considering the ideation of money and its implications on how we lived as humans. He had a wife and daughter, two responsibilities I could never see myself having.
Over pizza we discussed a lot of things like that. He told me about his jobs and how he got where he was. His daughter Charlie was 4 months old, and there he was next to me in the center of a city we both had never been to. I questioned his and my own sanity. It was obvious that between the two of us, neither one had anything figured out. We talked about god and our takes on it. Having a much more religious upbringing for him influenced his thoughts and my own take on the subject furthered how lost we both were. The pizza was great- the waitress we had at the bar bestowed a head of amazing purple hair. Her eye makeup was reminiscent of my own, and when I complimented her on it, she said “you too!” with a smirk.
With nothing left to do in Des Moines and a broken board in Izzy’s hands, we decided to drive to his home in Dubuque- quite literally on the other side of the state. I almost protested in favor of still hosting the “I skated across the country” title, but the reality was that I was choosing between having a place to crash and being in the middle of nowhere. Once again I reminded myself that the adventure had changed. It wasnt about skating across the country. It was about chasing my dream, leaving the routine of society, and meeting the great people produced in the face of varying cultures across the land. And above all else, it was finding people like Izzy, and sharing my story to shed light on how much more was out there in the world.
The drive was long. We continued chatting endlessly- on topics ranging from god and religion, the meaning of life, the size of the universe, aliens and their existence, and interdimensional travel. We had a lot to say, both of us calling upon various sci-fi classics to base our theories. I strongly voted for the Flashpoint Paradox being my belief system, and his was found to be more classic and mind bending. I explained how timelines aren’t linear- what if ghosts were just interdimensional fragments of a life in a timeline crossing ours? Could there really be no truth to UFO sightings if unrelated people who never met shared experiences on different parts of the globe? I proposed the thought that we have millions of satelittes in our atmosphere- how was it possible for a UFO to remain undetected when our eyes were always staring up? The obvious, to me, was that aliens are already here. They’re in the water. Have you ever seen an Octopus and really convinced yourself that it was of our planet? Have you ever considered that the definition of alien was simply any being different than your own? How could you look at a dolphin and tell yourself that it wasn’t an alien- to you? Perhaps the UFOs came from the places we haven’t discovered, like the remaining 90% of oceans? It was all speculation. The only thing I knew for certain was that I didn’t know.
At the end of the drive, Izzy proposed that I needed a massage. In truth, I really just needed a chiropractor to realign my back, but a massage sounded fun. He drove me to a place still far off from his home and completely random. It was as foreign to me as could be- never in my life before had I ever been treated to a massage. Billy Ray in Nebraska tried to give me a massage but I told him it tickled- it was more or less his tactic to get my pants off rather than to soothe me. Basically, I spent very little of my life being touched by other humans whatsoever. One night stands, which happened rarely, were the only times I ever learned what another’s skin felt like. Anyways, I was ready for a new experience.
He dropped me off and tended to errands on his own while I got the massage. After handing me some money, I walked in and acted like I knew exactly what to do. I always told myself that you could get anywhere or be anyone you wanted by just pretending nothing was new to you. I enacted that train of thought as I handed money to the woman told her I wanted a full body massage. “You pay later,” the Asian woman said to me. Normally I wouldn’t think it was important to say someone’s race, but in that specific case I thought that the Asian vibe emitting from employee and location really brought it all together.
She walked me into a private room, dimly lit and playing some sort of relaxing music. It was more annoying than relaxing, but I took it with a grain of salt. I wasn’t sure what kind of a massage I thought I was getting in Nowheresville, Iowa. Without a clue, I stripped butt naked and jumped on table. A woman’s voice was heard exclaiming that she was coming in, I wondered if I should have kept my bra and panties on, but I ignored it. I was getting a full body massage.
The massage felt nice, but I really just wanted her to push on my back with all her might to crack it. My bones ached for it. It never happened. Up and down she went on my body, from my head to my toes (and even with a finger grazing the inside off my asscrack). Eventually I did fall into total relaxation, with intermittent snaps back to reality when she karate chopped whatever area she finished massaging. I didn’t even realize it was over when it was over- she leaned down to my ear and said, “You all done! Happy?” And I informed her that I was “very happy.” In truth I was.
Little did I know, she wasn’t asking about my level of content, but was asking whether or not I wanted to really be “satisfied.” Sitting down with my legs hanging off the table, I very obviously had a boner after being caressed in the most sensual places possible. The butt crack grazing really set me off. She immediately hand grabbed my member, with hands covered in oil and began stroking it up and down. As a transgender person I always avoid using my dick for any reason whatsoever- for whatever possible excuse, I didn’t consider it. I never truly thought that happy endings were a real thing, and I never, ever thought I would be getting one. I closed my eyes and dreamed of anyone besides the woman with her hand where nobody’s ever goes- I thought back to the long list of women and men I lusted after, a collaboration of fantasy and experience.
While it DID feel good, I was too turned off by my own genitalia and how it was being used to let it go any further. Besides, a rub and tug from a literal stranger was no better than an over-the-pants hand job your teenage girlfriend would give you back in high school. I placed my hand on hers and started shaking my head, insinuating a “thanks but no thanks.” She probably thought I didn’t like it, but I didn’t care. Why should I have?
I put on my clothes after she left in a hurry and had my eyes stuck wide open. I couldn’t believe that really just happened. If anything, it might have been just as interesting of an experience if I got dropped off at a brothel and had my way with someone. I likely would have had the same reaction. On the way out I handed the woman $80, $40 for the massage and $40 because I was happy. Her and her receptionist stared at me in awe. “You so pretty!” “Wow.” Although I had just gotten the newest, weirdest experience of my life, it was really them who just gave their first hand job to a woman. Unsure which trumped which, I left cackling to myself.
Back in Izzys car I didn’t tell him of the experience. It was a strange topic. We drove on, as the night dropped bits of rain down on the hood of the car, and went to his house. The whole drive he kept telling me the house was a mess and he was embarrassed about it. I informed him of the places I had stayed- an RV in Wyoming, a camper in Idaho, the side of the road in Oregon, the forest in Wyoming, sleazy motels along the way, and a few empty campgrounds. Four walls and a roof was more than I could ever ask for. How lucky was I to make a friend who went above and beyond in food, shelter and comfort for me?