Toros

So much has happened since I last wrote.  India (amazing) Queretaro (wow)  Minnesota (yes, super wow) 

 I have also been crawling on my bare belly over broken glass in my personal life.  Makes it tough to take the time to blog, floss my teeth and do all the things I know are great for me.

 Imagine me for a moment in Queretaro Mexico.  (pronounce it correctly when you read it please)   I give a presenation to 100 CEO’s from Latin American countries.  I do part of it in Spanish (I speak great Spanish if you are three years old)

I am asked if I want to do something fun.  YES!  I reply.  There I am- standing on the dirt of a bullfighting ring.  I am placed behind a barrier and told to stand there.  When the bull goes by just sort of lean your arm out with your pink blanket (I can’t remember what they are called.. the red cape) as the bull happens to go by.

Cool.  Too cool.  Too easy.  I watch MEN step out of the barrier and walk around the ring.  So I step out.   I walk forward.  I am very nervous. 

I didn’t used to be nervous.  I was a daredevil after the age of 23.  Something happened in me and a once quivering little girl started taking super risks.  There was NO WAY I was going to stand behind the barricade when all the men are stepping out onto the ring.

I am scared.  A new feeling for me.  In the past, I didn’t get scared I just ran forward with out thinking.   Now that I’m a mom, I suppose it has all changed.

The audience is going NUTS.  They can’t believe I stepped out so far from the barricade.  The bull passes to my right.  TORO!   (there is no blood here ok- I wouldn’t do it if we were stabbing the poor thing.  pobresita)

The crowd who I have spoke in front of that afternoon is screaming “Communicate with the bull Christina”  “LOOK HIM IN THE EYES! ”

The bull passes to my left.. the bull jabs me in the right thigh.   Passes to the right.

I walk back to the barricade to cheers and limp a little bit.  That bull got me good!

It was so fun.  I was carried out of the ring by a few guys – on their shoulders.  They couldn’t believe I stepped out. 

What happened next is so hard to describe.  A group of 20 guys who had played soccer on the World Cup Stadium grass a couple of days before got out in the ring with a plastic beach ball and started playing soccer with the bull.  It was a little humorous and THEN they let ANOTHER bull out.  It was one of the most ridiculous things I have watched.

No one in that ring was really brave that day in comparison to Claudia.   I met Claudia in the beautiful tent after the bulls.  There were all these dancers all around from all the different areas of Mexico.  30 different styles of dance and costumes. 

The stage they were on broke from all the weight and they had to stop.  I started talking to a woman Claudia.  There was something about her.  I was drawn to her.

She was there with her husband.  They were laughing and giggling like schoolchildren.  Turns out they have two children (under 4) at home.  Still they giggled.  “We broke her out this weekend to be here.   Ha ha”  “I kidnapped her”  Ha ha.  “A prison break”  They both laughed.

What?  I say?   She is in the middle of chemo and radiation treatments in Arizona for a fast moving cancer.  She showed me that what she was wearing was actually a wig.

“We are going to beat it.”  They started sharing the journey with me and I watched her face.  So incredibly strong.  So sure.  The giggling continuing.

She and I held hands for a while.  The announcer announced the next Latin American Conference would be held in the Dominican Republic. 

She and I turned to each other and made a pact “let’s both be there.”  Agreed.  One year from today.

That night as I looked at the giant bruise on my thigh from the bull, I felt so lucky and so very far away from my little boy. 

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