This morning they did a mini-triathlon: 2 laps of swimming, followed by a 2.5 mile bike ride, followed by a half mile run. This was my 10 year-old’s second race ever and my 8 year-old’s first race. After they they got out of the pool, they had to towel off, put their socks, sneakers, and helmets on, and find their bikes among the hundreds of bikes there. After the bike ride, they had to put back their bikes, take off their helmets, and start running.
Parents couldn’t help with any of it.
For a non-athlete who has never run a race, I was dumbfounded by the whole process. I ran with the 4 year-old back and forth trying to figure out which child was dong which phase and clicking pictures with my phone.
I can not swim. I definitely can’t run half a mile and I don’t even remember how to pedal a bike. So when the girls crossed the finished line with big smiles on their faces, looking far more elated than tired, I was not just proud. I was something bigger than proud.
I was euphoric. Thrilled. Bewildered by children who accomplished something I never could.