On Second Thought: Episode 8 – The Iron Pup Can Wait

Trust me, it’s crazy to see your life on television. That’s why every week, I’m going to do a blog posts called “On Second Thought.” These posts are where I will go over the episodes of my Lifetime show as I process the issues presented now that I’ve seen them aired.  I hope you’ll join me for these weekly posts – which will undoubtedly be part-confession, part-explanation, and part-celebration of my life right now!

Episode Eight, Air Date: July 10, 2012

I always tried my best to imitate my dad!  Did you know that Arctic Cat makes smaller snow machines for kids (called “kitty cats,” get it?) which limit the speed and allows little three to five year olds to have their own fun on the snow.  Track and I used to ride all over the lake.

Sometimes, Track would even race in “kitty cat” races, in which racers go around in a circle around cones.  I loved to watch Track do that, and once or twice I participated in my own races.  (Um… I never won!)

That’s why I wanted Tripp to race in the Iron Pup. Snow machines have always been a part of Palin life and are a part of my most fun memories.  For example, my cousin Payton and I were outside Dad’s Polaris store when we were kids.  Dad leaned out the door and told us to knock it off, advice we promptly ignored. Payton rode right into Dad’s big old green monster truck, denting it with his helmet!

Another time when I was older, we went on a family ride out to a cabin.  We rode all in a row — like ducks – and I was the last one. At first, I was having so much fun…  looking through the goggles at the big snow-covered trees and mountains. There were no cars, buildings, or other people milling around. But as I watched my family zip through the trails, I started getting nervous.  What if I had a breakdown, what if I got snagged by some branches?  They’d never know it!  I’d be lunch for some bear!

After worrying for several miles, finally the inevitable happened. I did get hung up… barely.

“I got stuck,” I yelled, after catching back up when they finally stopped after realizing I wasn’t following. Normally, I wasn’t a “drama queen” but I’d gotten a little more fearful with every mile. Finally, when they rode up to me, I threw off my gloves and hat, and yelled, “And I almost died!”

But in spite of our mishaps and dramatics, we loved snow machining.  Not only because they were fun, but because we wanted to be like Dad!

Dad is a four time winner of the Iron Dog – an impressive feat since it’s the world’s longest snow machine race through the most remote and rugged terrain in Alaska.  Of the six hundred or so teams that have started the race since it first began, less than half finished.  Why? Temperatures frequently fall fifty degrees below zero – not even factoring in the wind — which means Dad wears duct tape on his face for protection. The 2,000 miles race takes six days, and takes the racers over tree stumps, cliffs, large mounds of earth, the frozen Bering Sea, and other rivers so destructive to snow machines that when the machines that cross the finish lines have basically been almost completely rebuilt along the way.  The drivers don’t fare too much better.  Broken bones are expected, and many just quit because their snow machines get fried or they tire of the relentless, unimaginable cold. But not my dad.  When Mom was Governor, people called him the “First Dude,” but he was known for being so tough he could withstand wipeouts at 100 miles per hour and the mechanical breakdowns that would make normal men give up.

My friends may have thought Mom was cool, but they thought Dad was superman.

That’s why it would be hard for any of us to hard to live up to the Palin name, especially before you can read Dr. Seuss books!  Tripp, of course, had no idea how much I wanted him to race, and he was having none of it. As disappointed as I was, I realize that sometimes you have to let a kid be a kid.

He’ll have his whole life to snow machine, go to the Iron Dog, and to follow in Dad’s sled tracks. But I only have a few years of comforting him when he’s little, and snuggling with him on the couch.

I hope I can raise him to be as honorable man as my dad.

But in the meantime, I’ll just love on him and give him hot chocolate.

The Iron Pup can wait.


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  • tom stewart

    Give it up, it’s a snowmobile and you wear a snowmobile suit.

    A girl writes a book about making mistakes, then a blog about all the mistakes she makes – hey, get a clue, stop making mistakes. Go to college, get an education.

    • Jacinda

      If you don’t like her blog then why the hell are you on it???

  • joe

    Why did you name your son after your daddy’s prostitute?

    • Jacinda

      You liberals are really nasty, disgusting people. You don’t understand someone, so all you do is personal attacks on them. I cannot understand why YOU would be on conservative blog. Shouldn’t you be out cooking up more ideas of how to take more of my money for yourself. Your a disgrace to society. I really hope someday you run into some redneck who kicks your stupid ass like it deserves.

      • joe

        I am not a liberal. I am a conservative Christian and against prostitution. Some people pretend to be conservative in order to make money, while they are certainly do NOT have conservative Christian values. Honorable, she says.

        • Jacinda

          Your no christian, isn’t there something against you judging someone else and not casting the first stone. Hmm, yes its in that bible book you have. Matthew 7:1, “Judge not that ye be not judged.” John 7:53 “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”.

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  • Kerry

    Dear Bristol,
    After watching your show, my view of your mother and you, on private life level, has changed. I have gained so much more respect for your drive, independence and values as well as your mother’s protective and adventurous qualities that have been been occasionally shown.
    The reason i was not a fan prior was due to the fact that I am socially liberal. To me, Gay Rights are exceptionally important even though I am not Gay. The reason behind this is because I believe that human rights shall not be infringed upon nor shall they be denied.
    I really appreciated when you confronted the man in the bar who called your mother an offensive name. However, it was hard for me when you brought it down to the point of his sexuality because it really doesn’t matter.
    There were laws on the books before the civil rights movement that made interracial marriage illegal and even though many people today, 50 years later, are still uncomfortable with it, the government has recognized the fact that it is ridiculous to deny two consenting adults the right to marry based on prejudice because it doesn’t affect the individuals that fear it.
    Isn’t that the real issue? People are afraid. Homophobic. There is no legitimate argument that doesn’t involve the bible (which is a violation of Church and State).
    If we legislated based on fear then the NRA would have no power but we both know they do. I’m not asking you to like someone else’s lifestyle. I’m asking you to consider the idea that this particular has zero affect on your life. That this lifestyle will go one whether you like it or not. That these are people like Neil Patrick Harris and his Parris and his partner David Burtka, Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi and Elton John and David Furnish.
    If you can look at these people and call then bad, or offensive, or sinners, or however you view or label this group of individuals who where born this way, then alright. But I guarantee you, if they were straight, you would look up to them for what they do for charities, individuals and the global community in general.
    I truly hope that you don’t look at this comment as negative because that is not my intent. I just wanted to give you mu thoughts on an issue that I am incredibly passionate and emotional about.
    I know you have a million things going on, but I would actually love to talk to you about this.
    If you do actually read this comment to the end, thank you for your time Bristol,

    • Chuck

      Kerry; You have a great outlook on non real life. No matter who likes it,in real life there always was slavery,hate,the poor,the killers,the good,the bad. All of these had there own justifications for these things.And these things will always be untill I believe the second comming.But thats just me.If you would like to prove this wrong study any period of history and show where this has changed,since writted history has begun.Or even since Kane killed his brother Able.You are obviously a nice person but get real and look at life like it is. May god bless you.

  • David Dempsey

    Wow! It must be great to live in Alaska. Good Post, Bristol.

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  • Tootie

    Bristol, I was real athletic. When my daughter was born I wanted her to be athletic too. Then I let go of that and began appreciating her for just who she was. When we were playing baseball in the yard and she would swing and miss the ball, I laughed and laughed. It felt good to love her and not want her to be a carbon copy of me. Tripp may be like your dad but maybe not. He is a precious little boy. By the way, his confidence would be enhanced if he had a dad (a legal dad . . . like Gino. hint, hint.) God bless you, my little Bristol.