My daughter just had her first cross country meet this week! She was feeling nervous, but I think I was more nervous than her! I don't think it's fair for me to over trump her anxiety, but I've felt it so many times before, in my own races!
This was her first time running against her peers. All of her previous races were 5ks that I was doing, where she ran against hundreds of people that were older than her. She didnt have any chance of winning, or even being in the top 200!
I encouraged her to eat a small peanut butter sandwich and a banana to give her some fuel…and to hydrate. I was being bossy as usual, so I could have really gotten several different types of responses from her 🙂
This time, she accepted my advice, though she told me she was feeling too nervous to eat. Again, it reminded me of my own self forcing food down my esophagus, while vomit was trying to come up ……. We were bonding…a least in my mind.
On the way, we talked a small bit about her strategy, but mostly we traveled in silence…….both lost in our own bundles of nerves.
She was feeling determined to be one of the top 7 finishers, of the girls team at her school, so that she could be considered Varsity, and compete in the invitationals! Of course I wanted her to do well, but I though that she was putting too much pressure on herself! After all, this was her first year, and this was many of the girls third year.
As usual, I gave her a small lecture…or lesson if you will 🙂 I told her she shouldn't focus so much on beating other people, but instead I told her to focus on bettering her own time, and being a good sport. Since my kids never really win anything….I don't like when they set themselves up for failure.
I always say “If you don't THINK you can do it, you won't be disappointed if you don't succeed”. (LOL. I'm kidding, for any of you do gooders who think I'm ruining my kids self esteem!)
But seriously, I was worried about her high aspirations!
As we waited for the race to start, she was calming, and I was growing more nauseated.
Finally, the gun went off….
She was starting off too fast, I just knew it!!!…. I was becoming a wreck!!!
As she came around the first turn, she was holding strong in the top half! I couldnt believe it!! I was clapping like a mad woman, but when I went to scream “GO HANNAH”…..I couldn't!
Something was caught in my throat…a lump. AND at the same time I was welling up with tears…..at a simple 1.8 mile cross country meet!!!! Had I completely lost it????!!
The next time I saw her run by again….same thing! I was crying every time she passed by me, never once being able to yell her name… I was a Giant dork 🙂
As she finished, she looked depleted…she ran a good solid race. She refused to smack anyones hand and only glared at the people cheering for her, but I was still proud of her….though we may need to spend a little time practicing attitude :).
There were many girls way ahead of her, but I couldn't believe it when she told me she got fourth on her team!!!! She made varsity!!!!!
The moral of this story is….Believe in your children, because I had to eat crow.:)