Every single time I've finished a marathon, my first thought was "Gee, that was fun." My second thought was "I'M NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN."
All is well until I make the mistake of doing a HALF marathon, like I did a few weeks ago. In those cases, the first thought upon finishing is the same: "Gee, fun." But the second thought morphs into something obscene like, "That was so fun, Why shouldn't I have TWICE that much fun in a real marathon?"
And then I go and sign up for a marathon.
Like this one:
On October 9.
Of this year.
Sigh. I just can't help it. Milwaukee marathon, here I come...
In other sports-related news, daughter D did her very first swim meet ever this morning. She did great! She even came home with 2 ribbons. Not anything that said 1st, 2nd or 3rd, mind you. But two "heat winner" ribbons.
There are a million kids in the 8&under group, so there are a thousand heats. Because she'd never swum in a meet before, she was placed in the slowest heat. So, even though technically, she was the 26th finisher in the 25-free...she still got a ribbon because she finished first in her heat.
But I was super proud of her today. Her first event was the very first race of the meet: the 100 IM relay. She was scheduled to swim the breast stroke leg. Poor kid has NO CLUE how to swim breast stroke.
Her eyes filled with terror and tears as soon as she read her sheet. But her coach told her that he didn't care what stroke she swam, he just wanted her to have FUN. He said he'd be cheering her along at the top of his lungs, even if she swam doggie-paddle. He said they were all there to have fun and since it was her first meet, he wanted to put her in as many events as possible, so she could have the most fun possible.
The two coaches are 20-something guys and they are amazing. They have nicknames for every single kid and they are motivating and inspirational and just well, amazing.
So, my daughter swam her relay. She completely swam the wrong stroke, came in dead last, and DQ'd the whole group. But her coaches cheered her along at the top of their lungs like she was an Olympic swimmer. When she got out of the water, they hugged her and told her she was amazing and said that they could tell she was having FUN while she swam. She went on to swim three more events.
I watched them do this for every single 8 & under kid who was swimming in his/her first meet.
As a parent, you spend years and years trying to give your children confidence and self esteem and all that stuff, with very little measurable progress.
Yet, this morning, Daughter D woke up nervous and scared about the meet. And this evening, she went to bed proudly displaying her two ribbons, feeling as special as an Olympic Swimmer. She didn't win anything. She didn't even swim all that well, to be honest. But she tried something new and her coaches valued that effort more than a win.
We owe you one, amazing swim coaches.