A Sport for the Non-Sporting Mother

I am not athletic. I am probably the reverse of athletic. For a self-admitting extremely judgmental person, I despise being judged. I played sports growing up as it was a requirement in the private school I attended to participate in competitive sports. And boy did I suck. Even at basketball, which everyone assumes if you're tall you must excel at it.

Softball tryouts last year. 
I have a daughter who enjoys being active and outdoors. For a person who grew up reading in her bedroom with her cat most of her life; this hasn't been an exciting time for me. Last spring she wanted to (and did) play softball. Softball is my nemesis in the sporting world. Being forced to play by my father and step-mother in a year I spent half my time with them and half my time at home with my Nana and Ba didn't go well. I sucked. I didn't want to get hit by a ball when playing the field and I didn't like everyone staring at me when I went up to bat. The following year I managed to tell them I didn't like softball and wasn't playing. My father rebutted with he'd thought I enjoyed myself and volunteered to coach. So I attended all games, practices and tournaments even though I wasn't playing. I was not impressed.

The Supportive Parent Role

I want to support my daughter in anything she wants to try. And unless she actually gets to sign up and play and give it the ol' elementary-school-try how will she decide for herself. So we went and she enjoyed it. I played catch with her and mostly disliked it. But it's not about me anymore. Just my attitude and willingness to get out there with her. This year practices conflicted with my school schedule so she didn't get to join in. At her school they have a a team for grade 3-5 students who qualify in a sport that I could 100 percent relate to and get behind.

Her first track meet.
This is the one sport I actually triumphed at through school. Or at least until I damaged my knee in the eighth grade and my participation was minimal afterwards. Track. Oh how I could run. And my coaches knew it. Thinking back on it today it actually makes a lot of sense. In track you don't rely on anyone else (except in relay, of course). It's just you and the stretch of ground giving it you're all. So when my daughter (who recently I've started calling by the nickname "Danger" and will refer to her as this in the future) Danger told me she qualified for the B 4x100m relay team and the A 100m Sprint I was ecstatic. I know this stuff! I've done this! And what's more, I've enjoyed this!

Run, Forest, Run!

I happily signed up to come to the city qualifiers as a volunteer for the day with the teams. I coached the other girls in her grade on keeping their eyes ahead and not looking at the other runners, to keep running past the finish line so they don't slow down and on the importance of clean hand-offs in their relay races. I cheered for each and every runner for her school and the slow runners for other teams. And they all did fantastic. The grade five team from her school swept the races with every member placing first. My daughter placed 3rd in the 100m sprint and her relay team placed 2nd which is enough for her to move on to the city finals tonight.

While that's so fantastic and I have kept cheering her on and training with her (It requires minimal physical effort for me which is nice, I stand in the shade with the stopwatch on my phone), I'm mostly proud of her for trying. For supporting her teammates and being supportive of the other schools as well. No matter how well she does tonight I've cherished this time to share something dear from my past with her. It's something we both love and having discovered this is just fantastic. I've been fretting since softball last year that I wouldn't hit my stride as a parent of a reasonably athletic child. And while she may engage in more sports that I am not so fond of in the future, I'll power through them and look forward to the day of the year when track tryouts come.


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