by Connor Jones
I’m not sure why everything with me is associated with competition but, here we are again.
It’s race day. It’s Montrose Days in mid-June, Kel and I had been looking forward to this since last year’s first and second placing, and we were now ready to win the age-eight heat.
The park near our elementary school was jammed with people. There were bubble blowing and hidden treasure contests, pancake breakfasts, group hikes, softball games, and the races.
Similar to when I raced my grandfather, Kellen and I had been training particularly hard with my mom to prepare.
One of us was going to win again, no doubts in our minds. Looking probably ridiculous with our matching buzz cuts and new Nike running shoes.
Mom even brought us down to Athlete’s World at Waneta Plaza for new red and blue running outfits, so we’d look good while winning too.
Most kids our age were buzzing around with no shirts on and in bare feet, and the majority of them had face paint on too.
Not the two of us bozos though, the race was much too serious for that.
Now there’s not a lot of people in Montrose, so there weren’t that many kids to race against, especially during the weekend with families away to the lake.
Last year we only raced against two of our buddies, Rob and Skylar, both great friends, but not super fast runners.
This year, as we lined up for the race, it was just Kellen and I on the start line.
One of us by default was going to win!
Right before we were about to take off, our neighbour Lindsey, strolls by and joins us on the starting line.
We didn’t even budge, we were much too focused and knew we could beat her.
She lined up next to Kellen and I, with her scraggly long blonde hair, jean skirt, tank top, about a zillion beaded necklaces, face paint, and rubber knee high gumboots.
‘There’s no way she can run on grass with those ridiculous boots on her feet,’ I thought to myself. I’m sure Kellen thought the same in his head, ‘She’s not ready for our speed. We’re older and faster, and she’s wearing a dress.’
Let me tell you though, those weren’t any ordinary gumboots.
Those were Sailor Moon boots! Magic boots.
Lindsey timed her start perfectly while mine and Kel’s feet were in sludge, Lindsey’s boots seem to magically propel her long legs towards the finish line.
What on Earth was happening?
Well, Sailor Moon isn’t from Earth, so the boots were from another planet, that was the problem. Lindsey was much faster than us two ding bats.
She flew into the ribbon, beating us only by a foot.
A devastating defeat at the hands of Lindsey and Sailor Moon.
We were brought to tears once again.
Barely audible, I wailed, “She’s not even eight years old!”
Kel joined in, “The boots! Ah! She cheated! I call for a re-race!”
How dumb were we?
She didn’t even stay to get her first place prize, and we say she cheated somehow, bunch of tiny bald fools!
After a few minutes, we stopped crying and gathered ourselves off of the grass.
More so, our mom picked us up by our ears and made sure we found and apologized to Lindsey for calling her a cheater.
What a scene eh?
So the lesson?
An easy one.
Don’t underestimate your opponents, and do not do battle against the daughter of Queen Serenity, Sailor Moon.
~ Montrose native and professional hockey player Connor Jones continues with a look back at his time growing up in Greater Trail in his next installation of ‘Top Shelf Stories.’