Yesterday afternoon we began, what I sincerely hope will be, a long love affair between my kids and track and field. Our school, wonderful as it is, isn't big enough for many organized sports, so we take advantage of county clubs for flag football and now, track.
Outside of football, track is my favorite sport, which may seem odd, coming from a person who never ran. I went out for track when I was a junior in high school, got bursitis in one of my knees and was advised to quit. I was already a drama-music-forensic geek so decided to do that instead of sports.
As a grownup, er - ADULT, yeah, that's it - I regret my decision not to stick with it. It's inspiring to watch people use the power of their bodies to run, jump and hurdle. Last night there was an older kid helping out, coaching, and when he ran? Pure poetry. He had the most beautiful form - it looked effortless. I couldn't take my eyes off him and it made me want to be fast and strong too. But I'm fat, flabby, post-menopausal and pushing fifty not to mention butt-lazy.
The word "butt" may be used as an adjective to emphasize other words i.e. "I'm butt-tired" instead of "I'm tired". Expert, experienced writers such as myself like to employ these nifty writing techniques to sound more professional. Carry on.
OK, so I'm abandoning my dreams of being a track and field Olympian - you know, the dreams I've had for the last 5 minutes - and forcing them upon my kids. Is that wrong? Is it wrong that I don't care? Is it control-freakish? Is control-freakish a word? Do I need professional help? Er, no need to answer any of those questions. Thanks anyway, peoples.
So, I forced the boys to go to practice last night. Katie was sick but she'll be forced next week. You know why I'm making them run track? Because when I first approached the kids about doing it, they all said, "I don't like track."
Um, you don't like what, exactly?
In your vast 6, 8 and 9 year-old never-ran-track-in-your-lives experience, you don't like . . . what? You don't even know what track IS. Let me tell you, it bugs me when my kids refuse something that they've never tried. It's especially pleasant at the dinner table. Anyway, I digress.
Nutshelling it - they're all out for track and here's what happened. They and the 100+ other kids all did a lap to warm up and then they stretched. By this time, Daniel was already crying. He wasn't hurt so I just hung out with him while he stuck with it, crying. I love that boy. He didn't quit, he just SAID he wanted to. Then all the kids separated into age groups and they worked on form, sprints and some field events. We're in an introductory phase right now and they're letting the kids try different things. You know what? Daniel is a good runner. He stopped crying and started working. He didn't even complain and it was in the 40's, windy and raining. It was cold.
What a sweetie. . .
Matthew had a pretty good attitude except after every sprint he would ask me, "Are we done yet? When can we go home?" He was cold and wet and hungry. Uh, Matthew? If you'd wear warm clothes instead of the shorts and t-shirts you insist upon, you'd be more comfortable.
Besides, you're living out my Olympic dreams so quit complaining and start training, buddy.
I think I'll start coaching.
I have that innate sense of how to reach children and motivate them.