The kids decided to sign up for a youth triathlon at our YMCA a couple of months ago, but we were unsure of how it would work out with Elizabeth recovering from her surgery.
I'm so happy that we went. They were amazing. Even Zibby had fun watching and cheering them on.
Ben's group went before Abigail's. The kids started in the water. He had to swim 3 short lengths of the pool, bike 1 mile, and run 1/2 of a mile. I was kind of nervous for him in the pool since our kids are not as strong in the water as some of the kids from here. (Most of them are swimming at 3 years old.) When Ben got in the water with 11 other boys I noticed that his lane was in the deepest part of the pool. I was so nervous that I couldn't even take a picture of him. Then the whistle blew and he was off. The whole thing just made me sick to my stomach...one boy next to Ben actually had to be pulled from the water by the lifeguard. But our Ben kept going...even if he had to paddle on his back..he kept going. I could tell when he got out of the water he was spent. In the past he has been known to let his fears take him over and hold him back, but not this time. Ben ran outside, put his shoes on, and headed for his bike. Aaron was with him, so I didn't really get to see, but he was flying. Aaron told me later that he passed half of the kids who beat him in the pool. Then of course after the bike ride he still had to run! I wondered if he would make it. When I saw him come down on the field to do his laps he looked wiped out, but that kid kept running. Ben never gave up, and finished 5th out of 11 seven and eight year olds!
When it was time for Abigail's group to go I was all the more nervous because we had practiced swimming 2 long lengths of the pool but found out that day that she would be swimming four full lengths. Talk about wanting to get sick to my stomach. I positioned myself right next to the lifeguard just in case I had to push him in to pull her out. She looked up at me and gave the thumbs up. I just prayed that she would pace herself. Then she was off. That girl was awesome. I could tell that it was not easy and she was exhausted, but she stayed focused and finished all four lengths! When she jumped out of the water her legs looked like Jell-O. But she ran outside, threw her shoes on, and headed for her bike. This time I could go over to the trail to watch her. Our kids are crazy on their bikes, so I knew that she would make up some serious time on this part of the course. When Abby Sue came down the hill to turn the corner she was going too fast and completely wiped out....handle bar in the stomach...road rash. I was ready for her to cry, but that girl got right back up ,"I'm okay, I'm okay." And off she went. When she came down on the field to run her mile I could see how red her face was. Poor thing get's that from her momma. Side aches set in..fatigue..but she kept going! We were so proud of her. When someone would pass her she would say, "good job, keep it up"...when someone would stop she would encourage them. We were so proud of her sportsmanship. She also finished 5th out of 11 9 & 10 year olds. Amazing.
Later that night, when we were tucking them in, Abigail said, "Mom, when Ben finished his swimming part I was so proud of him...there were tears in my eyes."
As parents we are called to let our kids go out and learn. The lessons today of teamwork, sportsmanship, endurance, and overcoming obstacles, far outweighed winning or losing. We told them that finishing is winning...and we were beaming with pride.