We had a great weekend last week. For that matter, this entire week has been filled with fun summer activities. I uploaded a bunch of pictures for this post yesterday, and for some reason blogger turned them into hieroglyphics over night. I just tried to put them up again and they are still coming through as greek symbols. Any idea why? I hope I can post the shots soon. We'll see.
But a quick story instead.
I was invited on a group ride last Saturday morning. We were at our camp for the weekend and that's very close to the home of my friend Bob. He arranged a ride with several other men. Men. Fast men.
I admit I was hesitant. I can hold my own but I have never gone on a group ride with fast men. I have ridden with One man but that's not the same. Plus, I hear stories all the time about how hard these guys hammer on their rides.
Bob assured me that he wasn't going hard that day. It was just a day to ride. So, I said yes. I appreciated being included and I knew I would get a great workout and it would be fun to go with other people for a change.
Our camp is on a little island in Sebago Lake. At 6:00 a.m. I attempted to sneak onto the dock and start the boat. There was a mist over the lake, the sun was already bright in the sky, and a few loons sang to me as I made my way across. Not a bad way to start the day.
The ride turned out to be super. I had a blast. I worked my tail off. And I think, I held my own! The guys were very "chivalrous." I kept thinking that. Nobody ever said I was slow, but Bob and for a few miles, Dave took turns riding with me so I felt like I was 'with' the group. It was a very high quality 50 miles for me. Fun morning.
Later that day, bob and his family joined us for an afternoon at the lake. We did all the things you do on a hot summer day. We relaxed, went for a boat ride, there was swimming and tubing, lots of eating and several cocktails to top the night off.
Father's day was a little different this year. Rather than allowing the Father of our 3 boys to relax and sleep in.... we were up and scurrying at 6:00. The Kids were in a RACE! That's right..it was their turn. We were all slow and groggy after a late night of fun but boy was it worth it in the end.
There is a new Youth Triathlon series called Healthy Habits Youth Triathlon Series. (www.healthyhabitstri.com)
This was their first race in our area and over the summer there will be two more. One in Sanford in July and another at Winslow park the day after our popular race, Lobsterman. (for all of you locals with children--you should consider these for your kids.)
We arrived at the race site and began to set up their Transitions.
The kids got body marked, they put numbers on their bikes, they had race belts for their race numbers and speed laces in their shoes. (yes, there mother is a triathlete...)
And boy, actually boy oh boy oh boy, were they nervous. (get it? 3 boys? ok, lame one.) But seriously, they were so nervous. It was cute. I assured them they'd be fine. When I ran off to do something at one point, Mark even had all 3 practice their transitions. So cute.
The race meeting was held and all 3 were standing together in their suits with their goggles on their heads already. ( I have a cute picture of this if blogger would cooperate!)
we moved into the pool area to begin. It was HOT and we had to wait a Long time. this was the only part that was tough. The swim waves took a long long long time as you can imagine. They started with the older 13-15 yr olds. They swam 200 yds and did pretty well.
Cameron's group was next. 175 yard swim, 2.8 mile bike, 1.2 run. Cameron is a good swimmer. His form is excellent but his turnover is ...patient. He is a careful. But he swam that 175 very well and headed off. He rode his bike hard (note to self: he needs a new bike for his birthday...with gears and all that cool stuff) and then finally it was the run. Cam can Run!!! He took off and followed this guy in ablue shirt who was the lead runner for all the leaders in each wave. Cameron looked so strong. He finally came through the balloon arch at the finish line with the biggest smile! He donned his medal and headed for the table of food. Ahh..finally it was Their turn to get the food and not mommy's! He chose to linger at the finish with the others while I ran back and forth and back and forth to be sure not to miss the other two. He was feeling cool..and independent...I could just tell.
Tommy was up next. He is the most spirited child I've ever known. He was so excited to hit the water and start his day. He swam 125 yrds, biked 1.2 miles (?) and ran .6. He looked fast and strong the whole way. He was 3rd out of the water (it was close) but he blazed through T1 and took the lead. He cruised into the finish area looking buff and ready to hit up the post-race refreshments with his brother. They were totally psyched.
Little Nick had been completely anxious all morning. He barely let me leave his side. He sat on top of me in the pool area for an hour only breaking away when I forced him to so I could run around outside watching his brothers. Nick's race was a25 yard swim and .6 mile run. An Aquarun for his 5-6 yr old age group. Just right.
Nick has been taking swimming lessons for a while and can swim 25 yards alone, but it's slow. And he can barely get his arms out of the water. And, he's not terribly strong. I never ever take my eyes off him, even when he's at lessons. Some of the other kids chose to wear flotation devices for their swim but Nick went with nothing. He was ready to impress his brothers. By now, Cameron had recovered and came into the pool area to watch his little brother. He went to Nick, on his own, to wish him good luck. It was sweet. And he even sat by Nick's side while I ran back and forth from the pool to the finish line (NOT that close together btw!) to make sure I caught Tommy's big finish.
Finally, it was Nick's turn andhe was off. I stood at the end of his lane and clapped the little guy on. My parents were there watching and they cheered from the sideline of the deck. Mark was our volunteer for the family so he was on the run course watching the boys in action. As Nick neared the end of the pool, a huge smile broke out across his face. He was so proud. He hopped out, walked as they were told across the deck, and then bolted over to T1. He grabbed his race belt, red visor, threw on his sneakers and hurried away. How did my baby's legs get so long?? He ran like a little rabbit. Mark saw him come around a corner out on the course and later told me, "He looked just like you. He was totally focused and barely looked at me." That seemed funny to me... to hear what I look like and that my son was following suit.
Nick ran down the road to greet us all at the finish with a huge smile. They gave him his medal and we hugged.
I watched the kids all morning. They were quiet and nervous at first and then they began to barrage me with questions. When things started, they became antsy. While racing, they were serious and barely looked at us while we cheered. When they finished, they were happy.
But the most notable thing to me, was their pride in themselves. It was so evident when talking to them after. They each wore a little smirk when I pointed out them what they had accomplished. They have watched their parents race over and over. This time, it was all about them.
Tommy ended up winning 1st in his age group (he's 8 but was in 9-10 group) and Nick also won his age group. Cameron was 4th. That was a little uncomfortable as the two little brothers walked up for their prizes. However, I had a chat with Cameron. He is 10. He raced in the 11-13 yr old group b/c he'll be 11 by the end of this year. There is a Big difference between a 10 year old and a 13 year old! He had a tough age group. He realized the truth in this and was fine. He knows that we don't alwasy win but as long as you do the best you can that day, it's considered success.
There were probably 50 kids there that day. It was a true joy to watch so many young people enjoying something Active!!! I won't go overboard with that soapbox right now, but we all need to keep our kids moving. There are too many unhealthy distractions in our world today and our youth are really falling prey to it.
So get out there with your little ones and have fun! Run, swim, play soccer, golf, throw the frisbee, go for a walk, hike a trail, ride bikes around the block! They'll love it and when they're 40, it'll be a natural part of their day rather than a chore.
Congrats to my boys!!!! I'm so proud of you!
hopefully...I'll follow up with pictures soon.