Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meet the meet

Finny pictured in fourth, finished the race in second place

Molly and Finny joined Cross Country this year. On Tuesday, they had their first mini-meet. Both were admittedly nervous. I realized the bravery it takes to start a brand new endeavour when Molly asked me that morning if the races were head-to-head. That WOULD be scary. Everyone watching you race a distance you have no idea about against a total stranger...but no, I reassured her it wouldn't be like that at all. 

As an aside, kids are amazing. They gamely try all kind of fresh experiences without a ton of context or concrete information. It makes me think how out of practice we get at that sort of risk taking as adults...

Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit shocked at how many kids were there at the mini-meet. It was five elementary schools with teams of about 75 kids each. Standing with the kids, I remembered how nerve-wracking I used to find Cross Country. I loved it, but I also knew that mid-way through the race there would be pain and mental stress. Knowing that going in isn't easy.

Luckily, the kids didn't have any idea about that part. They had only had two before-school practices that consisted of quick laps around the playground. They were nervous about the logistics, getting lost, looking silly. I don't think they realized how FAR it was.

The group in the picture below is some of the Grade Ones from our school:

This is Maya, Molly and Finny before the race. I can tell it was before the race because their cheeks aren't beet red. Fair children + exertion = rosy, rosy

The picture above here is the group Finny raced in (that sentence ended with a dangling sue me). It was Grade Ones and Twos together. She went out strong and then disappeared around the far side of the park. I couldn't see her, so I sped over to the last corner to wait for her to reappear. I had no idea if I would see her round the corner walking and in tears, or what. So when I saw her sprinting like a maniac in second place, in front of all the other kids except her friend, Delia, I was excited for her.

Molly and Maya were bursting along the last stretch, screaming for Finny to finish strong. She came in second, complete with a red ribbon. She was beyond thrilled. She was also a little shocked at how far it was to run. It didn't take long for her to start talking about the next meet though, wondering how to improve.

First and Second Place
Molly raced next and I think she felt the pressure. She wanted a ribbon, too. Molly, however, has a more cautious personality. She wanted to get a feel for the distance, so she went out a lot softer than her crazy sister. She also kept stopping to keep her best friend company while she retied her shoes. Given the choice between competing and being a great friend, Molly will always come down on the side of friendship.

Molly and her friends Maya and Nathan didn't place in the Top 20, but they made a goal to finish there before the mini-meets were done. I hope they do it.

I was so proud of my girls. They gave it their best. I will be really interested to see how Finny's competitive streak resolves itself next week. And how Molly raises her game.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your girls. Love, love, love them. They are each so special and so...themselves. Did I mention I love them?