My almost 8-year-old daughters finished their first triathlon yesterday. My husband and I thought we knew all there was to know about triathlon. As it turned out we learned a few things from the beginners:
1) Swimming is more difficult when you can’t touch the bottom. For those logical types, this won’t make any sense. This makes PERFECT sense to me.
2) For some a race is not a competition but a journey. The girls swam in the same lane and one sister edged out the other by the end of the 50 meters. She didn’t rush off to the transition. She waited for her sister. Some people race for the experience and sometimes the experience includes finishing with a special friend.
3) Safety comes first. It’s just a race. Be careful out there. If you need to walk your bike down a steep hill, as one of my daughters did, there’s no shame in that.
4) If you walk and no one sees, does it matter? A lot of the participants, including my daughters, walked some of the 1/2 mile run. Once the finish line (and the crowds) were visible, those kids made an enthusiastic charge. No matter how your race goes, a strong finish can leave you with a positive outcome.
5) Don’t project your feelings on someone else’s experience. I had to keep my fear and nerves to myself before the race, but it was important after the race too. This became especially apparent to me at the end of our long day when I asked my daughter, “Are you exhausted?” And she answered, “Am I supposed to be?”
6) The magic of the triathlon lingers as long as the numbers on your arms and legs stay on. As I tucked the girls into bed I saw one daughter still wearing her swimsuit (a brand new orange and pink suit from blueseventy) under her race t-shirt. More than 24 hours later you can still see her race number on her arms. I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist on a bath now. Like the clock turning midnight, her coach will turn back into a pumpkin. Until the next race.
What have you learned about fitness from your kids? Share it with us and enter to win a pair of goggles and swim cap from blueseventy. –Kara