If you’ve got kids and they have the chance to get involved in cross country at an early age… do it!
My daughter is in year 3 – a junior – and her primary school holds weekly training sessions on a Monday with monthly events with other schools. She loves cross country running and enjoys it even more because she has a good group of friends who also take part. OK, most events are carnage with sharp elbows and lots of pushing and shoving followed by a few tears, a bit of chatting and a lot of walking, and that’s what the kids love!
But this weeks race was different because my little girl ACTUALLY DID WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT!!
She took it steady at the start. So steady that I thought she was gassing with her mate when they were about 6 people ahead of last place. And then she picked up the pace.
In the final two-thirds of the race she overtook half of the field by getting faster and faster. She used her fast hands (imagine Linford Christie’s sprinting hands) and was taking deep breaths (after my pep talk of “I don’t want to hear you chatting, I want to hear your deep breathing”).
It’s fair to say that this competitive Dad is proud of his daughter. Not for the place that she finished in the race, but because I know she tried her best. Kids, eh?
I had a dreadful moment of realisation today when we cycled the kids to school. I’ve allowed something small to change and with it, given up a bit of my manliness.
It’s nothing to do with doing the school run because I think of that as a real treat if I am ever able to do it. I love getting to the school and watching how the girls behave in an environment which is far more familiar to them than it is me. Sometimes I feel really out of place, but others it is just like being in my local pub on a Sunday afternoon 10 years ago. We’ve all moved on.
No, the school run is a great thing, especially when it is a school cycle. But it’s the cycling that is part of the problem.
A few weeks ago, Mrs G decided she wanted to cycle alongside me with the girls whilst I went for a run. To do this, I had to move the child seat from my bike and on to hers. ON TO HERS!! This had never happened before. Towing the kids has always been my job. DAD’s job!
I’ve always been the one with stronger legs from running and cycling. The one with a bit more balance and confidence for these things. But now all that masculine superiority has been dashed…. she can do it too!!
Even worse – for weeks I have been trying to find a spare bracket so that we can easily switch the seat between the bikes. But the bike seat is so old that I can’t find one that fits properly. So without refitting bits and pieces with allen keys and spanners every time I choose to reassert my manliness, I have got a dad-bike that is missing a bit of dad-ness!