The day started with butterflies. Hundreds of butterflies in my stomach fluttering around like leaves in a tornado, and I hadn’t even put the suit on yet.
At this point the last thing I wanted to do was wear an inflatable dinosaur suit to my schools athletics carnival, as I already knew the enormous impact it would have on my confidence and reputation, but I paid $40 for it and my mum would kill me if I didn’t - seeing as it was her money.
As we arrived at the oval, I was greeted by my grinning friends, one of which was soon to put on a similar hotdog suit, and I fretfully followed them to the girl's toilets where I transformed, from boring C. MacShane to (the soon to be well known) Diana the dinosaur riding C. MacShane. Big change, I know.
As I left the bathroom and stepped onto the wide, bare, open oval, people just appeared. They told me how they loved the suit, asked if the dinosaur had a name - which yes it does, it's Diana and then everyone was touching it, either punching its inflatable head or squeezing my fake air filled feet.
Teachers were laughing and giving me odd looks and I could feel people looking at me from hundreds of metres away. I quickly got used to the attention but I never fully understood how much bigger I was until trying to sit down or get into the house bays without getting my tail in someone's eye or Dianas enormous head in somebodies bottom.
Unfortunately, I also promised my mum that I would compete in at least some events so Diana was deflated and had a rest whilst the open long jump, discus, shot put and running events took place.
But she did shine just one last time, and she shone brightly.
I thought that Diana deserved to feel alive again, feel free, like her family was definitely not wiped out from a meteor... so we entered the women's open 100m with Tash in her hotdog suit. The nerves got the worst of Diana though and 2 minutes before the event, her heart ran out of batteries, literally, and we had to do open heart surgery i.e we had to change her batteries. It was successful though and we lined up next to the hotdog ready to run. BANG!!!
We were off, sprinting for our lives, Diana was surprisingly fast for a two-legged dinosaur but I guessed that how she survived the meteor. In the end, we were neck and neck with hotdog (aka Natasja) for second last and in the last second, she just overtook us. After our race, people said how glamorous, elegant and majestic it was whilst congratulating us on our win ( win from the other end).
In the end, the 2019 athletics carnival was a day filled with fun, laughter, enjoyment and photos. So. Many. Photos.
Even though Diana and I only competed in one event and she had to have open heart surgery, we still had a great time. I felt comfortable wearing the dinosaur suit though and I didn’t feel embarrassed which I think made the day even better.
Everyone had a great time and the suit was a big hit.