My sister is getting married soon, so I thought what better time to relive some warm sisterly memories than right now.
As I've discussed in the past, my sister is revoltingly talented. What she wasn't as a child, however, was capable of walking like a human being. For reasons only a 9 year old would understand, her and her friend wanted to be horses. Not to ride horses, but to BE horses.
And what does being a horse encompass you ask? Let me tell you. It means offering to hitch yourself up to large logs in order to pull them like a draft horse. It means perfecting your horse noises (Neigh!). It also, more importantly, means walking and running on all fours. Horses don't walk on two legs after all.
And so they practiced. And they got good. And my sister, who excels in most things, also excelled in this. Over time, the two girls developed a loping kind of canter, a smooth-ish walk, and an ungainly but surprisingly quick gallop, all of which were done on all fours, with legs and arms extended to their fullest. There were times when I truly believed that my sister could move faster on four legs than on two.
As an older sister, the single best part of this for me was that over time they performed these equine feats so frequently that they would appear to forget what they were doing and just drop into horse stance. Anywhere. Literally ANYWHERE.
I would be walking home from school with my sister and suddenly she would drop to all fours and run. It seemed like anytime she started running like a human, there was at least a 40% chance that she would end the run in horse mode. From where I was standing, it was a completely subconscious choice to do this, and it was absolutely hysterical.
My unqualified favourite time this happened was at the local ice rink. We were at public skating, just going around in endless circles when it happened. I guess at some point we achieved critical horse speed, because out of nowhere my sister dropped automatically into horse stance and tried to run.
Now if you've ever experienced ice, you'll know that it isn't known for it's traction. Horses, as a rule, also don't often wear ice skates. Ice, combined with skates designed to glide on ice, and the act of not actually being a horse created a trifecta of disaster which saw my sister face planting on the ice after taking about 2 to 3 loping gallops in public. She wasn't hurt, and I enjoyed the spectacle immensely.
I can tell this story now, because my sister has not been a horse in years, and recently got back from winning a world championship medal with Team Canada's women's paddling team. I'm very proud of her, but I also like closing my eyes and remembering that while she may be athletic and talented now, there was once a time that she tried to run like a horse on the ice and failed spectacularly. Neigh!