Last year for my birthday, I asked my friends to send me stories related to our friendship. I spent my birthday taking a trip down memory lane, reading through all of them. This year, I asked some of my friends if I could share their memories with you.
Today’s memory is from Lindsey Taeko, one of my gymnastics teammates. I’ve known her since she was six and I was ten. She and our teammate Kyle came to stay with me for the weekend during the thirty seconds I lived in Vegas (that was a dumb idea). They were there to watch our other friend, Aaron, compete in a big meet that weekend. On the night Lindsey and Kyle arrived, we headed out to The Strip. As Lindsey remembers it:
We were wandering the Vegas Strip and you decided, â€œHmm, I really want to kiss someone.â€Â So, naturally, you find a cute guy, stop him on the street and ask to kiss him â€“ and he of course agrees.Â I was ABSOLUTELY blown away, such confidence, amazing . . . but it gets better! AFTER you kiss the random guy, you start talking to him and he says he’s in town for a gymnastics competition â€“ OMG. Yes, the same gymnastics competition that were are going to watch the next day . . . but it gets better!
We arrive at the competition the next day and are sitting in the audience. We spot the random guy from last night and he comes over to say hello.Â There’s a quick chat, good luck, have fun, yadda, yadda. Conversation is wrapping up and out of the blue you just PLANT one on him! Â I just remember witnessing this entire encounter and nothing phased you â€“ cute guy, kiss him; he says he’ll be in the same place as you tomorrow, ok cool, no weird awkwardness of oh my goodness this was just supposed to be a random spontaneous moment; you see him the next day in public and naturally you kiss the guy again. I was so impressed and wished I had the balls and the fearlessness to do what you just did!
While that was a very silly story â€“ it’s also a perfect example of what makes you Ruthie and why so many people love you and look up to you. You’ve always been an incredibly strong and determined woman. You’re driven and don’t hesitate to go after what you want. And most importantly, you don’t care about what people may think â€“ it’s a clichÃ©, but it’s fitting . . . you dance to the beat of your own drum and you were fortunate to understand the value in this long before most of us did. I feel very blessed that after all these years you are still in my life and I’m so proud to call you a friend.
Awh, shucks Lindsey. I’m so glad you’re in my gymnastics family. You were usually one of the quiet ones, but when you spoke, you had a reason and you were often a voice of sweet sanity for me.