Having it All vs. Doing it All

I’ve never no-showed a race.  In fact, I rarely ever no-show anything at all.  If I say I will do something, I do it.  If I say I will be somewhere, I’m there.  If I register for it, I show up and run.  Until this weekend.  A few months ago I registered for the Get in Gear 10k.  Later my husband let me know that our 8 year old would have a hockey tournament – we just didn’t know what time of day.  A couple weeks ago, in looking at my training plan realized that it called for an 8 mile run that day.  It doesn’t take a genius to realize that 6 miles is not quite 8 miles.  I decided to change my distance for Get in Gear to the half marathon.  A few days ago we found out my son had two big tournament games the day of Get in Gear (yesterday).  One at 8:15 am and another at 1:15 pm.  The race was scheduled for 9:00 am.  No way to do both.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t even consider skipping the hockey tournament.  It was extremely tempting.  I really enjoy race days, they are the best.  Sitting in a cold ice arena for hours is not always super fun.  It crossed my mind but in the end I knew I needed to be there for him.  When there’s a conflict – the Mom card trumps all.  I got my first Did Not Start (or DNS in the running world).  Kind of a bummer but I don’t regret it.  I didn’t skip it because I forgot or slept late or was feeling lazy.  I skipped it because my guy needed me.  And he did.  The first game of the tournament was a shut out, 0 to 10.  The second was another loss at 1 to 10.  He was super disapointed and I would have felt even worse if I hadn’t been there to give hugs and encouragement.

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Sometimes having it all doesn’t mean doing it all.  Sometimes the kitchen doesn’t get cleaned.  Sometimes that last minute email gets answered the next day.  Sometimes grad homework is turned in at the last minute (like this week!).  And sometimes a DNS happens.  That’s life as a parent.  We sacrifice our own wants for our kids’ well being and happiness and it’s okay (and encouraged!) to give ourselves room to do that guilt free.

But it doesn’t have to be a total sacrifice.  I skipped the race and am very glad I did.  I gave up the half marathon but didn’t give up my training.  It would have been easy to just say ‘oh well, that’s that, wasn’t meant to be’.  But I still had those 8 miles on my training 8 mile trail trainingplan so I cranked out them out on some trials.  (This trail stuff is growing on me although we ran into several harmless but startling snakes which I didn’t appreciate.)  Had a great workout with a good friend in spite of the scheduling issues.

Sidebar: Looking for some feedback!  I have been watching YouTube videos lately for running, workout and training tips.  Playing around with the idea of doing some video blogging of my own.  Thoughts?  Good idea?  Silly idea?  Have you tried it or have any tips?  Would welcome any comments. 🙂

Advice for the Soft Spoken Sports Mom

I didn’t play sports as a kid.  I didn’t watch sports as a kid.  I was very happy to sketch, play piano, read, write and dance.  By nature I’m a relatively quiet person.  That being said, I’ve taught large college lectures to auditoriums of 300 and can give presentations to upper executive management at work with ease.  I can raise my voice when I have to (don’t my kids know it!) but being vocal isn’t necessarily my favorite activity.

IMG_0491This has all worked out just fine for most of my life.  However, I’ve learned when you’ve got your precious little athlete out on the ice (field, court, etc.) making the big play with hands in the air they don’t want to turn to their parent in the stands to see them mildly clapping with a proud smile.  They want standing!  They want jumping!  They want, you guessed it – yelling.  And lots of it.  I think to most this may sound like no big deal but if you’ve never played the sport they’re playing, don’t know the rules, and are afraid of shouting something ridiculous, here are some tips I’ve learned by watching other parents over the years of hockey and other sports games.


 

 Things you can shout pretty much 100% of the time, to any player, for any reason:
“Skate!” (or “Run!”)
“Go (enter kid’s name here)!”
“Keep your eye on the puck!” (ball, frisbee, target, birdie, golden snitch etc.)

 Things you can shout when there are a bunch of players near your goal:
“Defense!”
“Go defense!”

 When your kid’s team scores:
“Way to go (team name or jersey color)!”
“Nice one (enter kid’s name)!”

 When the other team scores:
“Let’s get it back (your kid’s team name or jersey color)!”
“That’s okay (your kid’s team name or jersey color)!”
“Let’s go (your kid’s team name or jersey color)!”


 

10294249_10203661037903332_7509179253222779903_nCheer for the other kids too!  If you don’t know the names of the other players, and their jerseys only have a number or last name, bring the team roster to games.  Odds are your coach or team manager has sent this out via email, or could give you a copy. Nothing helps give you more parental respect than being able to cheer on other kids by name too.  Plus it helps to support the team and you’ll be able to talk about the game more with your kiddo later (“nice work with that assist from Johnny today!”).

At the end of the day, don’t worry about saying something weird or cheering incorrectly. I’ve learned the hard way that yelling nothing at all actually looks sillier than yelling the wrong thing.