Run, Jump, Play

Our first trial of the local Little Athletics and already my kids competitiveness is coming out – both Master8 and Miss9 are in bed attached to ice packs competing to see who is in more pain.  I thought Master8 was winning with his sensational limp, which if was real could only mean he’d lost a foot, until Miss9 crawled out her bedroom on her belly to get a drink.

So how did they go?

My kids never do especially well at their school athletics carnivals. I don’t mind, especially, as I think the number of people making a career of athletics is fairly limited. However, I am concerned they’re not getting enough exercise. Plus, they’re sick of coming last all the time.

And that’s basically what happened tonight at Little Athletics, so I was surprised at the general air of fun and excitement.

“I did really bad,” Miss9 to me when she arrived home. But she was grinning.

Master8 was having none of that. He stepped up to her and stuck his chest out in his best drill sergeant manner.

“Don’t say that!” he told her. “You did good! Remember, you only have to beat you.”

This concept of only competing against your personal best seems to have struck a cord with my kids. I guess they feel there’s finally someone they’re running against who’s so bad they can beat them – it’s the them from last week. I mean if everyone else could beat that kid, they can too. Right?

But it isn’t just the kids who are getting more active.

“I’m exhausted,” Tracey said to me.

Seems with following the kids from event to event, and tracing back across the field pushing the pram to take each of them to the bathroom, she’d managed to clock up similar kilometers to a half marathon.

Not only that, but Miss1, in defiance of not being allowed out of her pram, managed to empty all the water bottles into the jumpers and jackets in the tray under her seat, meaning no one had anything dry to keep them warm at the end of the night.

Not that they really needed it, they were so warm from running around.

The kids tried heaps of things – discuss, sprint, 800m, high jump, long jump.

“I would have made it over,” Master8 said of his high jump attempt, “only my foot hit the bar.”

Given that is the same complaint Olympian high jumpers make, I think I see quite a future for my boy in this event. Of course, this sort of thing never happened to me when I was at school because I never, ever got my foot that high – usually I barreled into the high jump bar with my chest. Or head. So already he’s better than his old man.

I suspect Miss3 might have inherited my fear of heights. She was so petrified of walking along a ladder lying flat on the ground she froze, panicked halfway and had to be rescued.

Yep, we’re quite the athletic family.

In other great results, and I know it’s not about this because I was told several times tonight, Master8 had the best finish.

“I got ninth!” he told me when he arrived home.

I asked him how many were in the race.

“Twelve!” he told me. Then, after a brief thoughtful pause, “Or nine. I can’t remember.”

Hey, who cares! There’s no need to look behind you when you’re only competing against yourself.

I’m looking forward to next week already 🙂 Thanks to Tracey trailblazing tonight I already know to hold onto my jumper and pack plenty of ice. It’s going to be fun!

 When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’


  • That’s an interesting concept to only compete against yourself, so does that mean that the person that comes first doesn’t get any glory or do they still get the glory but just that the main focus is on beating yourself?

    • I’ve never had to look into that, Nomie. Assume beating everyone would still be a great thing for them, but assume they want to beat their personal beat more than anything else.

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