Name Game

I have been trying to come up with a creative way to bring up my name confusion..I was born as Claire Louise (yeah, I know) Gregson. It is true that I can quote line by line all references to the name Claire from the Breakfast Club. I grew up answering to Claire or Gregson….Over the years I have noticed that whenever I have tried something new or difficult I had a common pigtails. It was first brought to my attention when I (20 years old)did the Alaska Mountaineering NOLS course. I always wore braids (what else can you do when you don’t shower for a month?). One of my tent mates started calling me Pippi and asked me if my braids were like Sampson’s hair? He asked if someone cut them off in my sleep what would happen (we were snowed in..and had run out of things to talk about). I decided that they would automatically sprout back and be even stronger. A month after I returned from my trip I received a letter from my tent mate (a 40 year old lawyer from NYC)..he wrote a poem called “Pigtail Power”..kinda goofy but I still have it..he told me that whenever things seem difficult I still have my smile and my braids. When I was in college I started Mt biking and once again I wore my braids for two reasons air conditioning and you could tell who I was. When I studied I wore pigtails. When I started doing yoga pigtails were the best way to go…In teacher training I kept my pigtails and the name Pippi came back. I started a goofy little ritual..whenever I would get nervous or freaked out I would have a little bit of a meditation as I braided my hair. Over the years my braids began to change into a ponytail…as my bike grew dusty I leaned more to the low ponytail…not full on “mom hair” but it was close. The day I started to ride a fixie..the pigtails were back in..the day I started to ride on the road the pigtails were in…the day I realized that not all relationships are healthy I had the good ol’ pigtails to remind me I am a strong person. As I kept riding and I discovered that even friends will astonish you and attempt to cut you down I (like my pigtails) spout back even stronger. But ,all comes back to why I wore them: I was trying something new or difficult. During the first year I rode in 24 Hours of Booty I put spokes in my pigtails….I was riding for people who were going through something difficult (cancer treatment) I would pigtail up in honor of them. With each lap I realized that the pigtails made people smile or laugh..With each lap riders called me Pip with each lap I remembered that I really like who I am when I am pushing myself to expand my edge. Since that first 24HOB I was called Pip by folks…I am still Claire to my family and long time friends…but, deep down I have always been Pip..because I always have my braids and my smile. So, for those who are bothered by me going Pip..all I can say is ..REALLY, it honestly bothers are annoyed by my nickname…you have wasted your time being bothered by…My braids…

I told you guys they had power;)

If you used to take yoga from me..I still teach- it is just under the name Pip (I gotta admit it is easier to remember)


….whatever name

****please donate to 24HOB


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