Butterflies and bright shiny objects
When does focus happen?
I was going to say when does competitive spirit happen but we have that here since birth… I think Fiona learned to walk at 10 months just to be able to race her sisters and even now, I say “who wants their hair brushed first!” and Fiona will run break neck to get to me (even if she is actually last). So Niamh, Zoe and Fiona have a clear concept of winning and not winning and we often talk about how to be a good player and to cheer on anyone behind you.
Niamh has been running tons, all her life, and she is fast for a burst of around 200 yards. Our block is a perfect 400m and around March when the snowbound crazy hits I started letting her run around the block alone so she has been doing it for months. Sometimes I time her and her average is around 4min. That is really quite slow for running and usually she tells me there was a car or a dog or a person to say hi to etc. All understandable obstacles but NONE of those things exist on a real track…
When we signed Niamh up for a 4-day track camp with the youngest allowed is 6 and the oldest is 14 I knew she would most definitely NOT be the fastest there. I wanted her to see kids really run and I wanted her to try hard. She did deliver on both counts while consistently crossing the finish in the last 5 kids. Realistically she was right there with the 2nd and 3rd graders and usually beat the two 6-year-olds and that is just right.
The real surprise of the camp was the fact that she was so easily distracted it was funny. I didn’t stick around for the whole thing but every day she presented me with flowers she picked. The last day I got there just as she was starting the 400 race and she started strong but then started going really slow just after 200 yards and staring off into the grass. She picked it up again and actually finished the race at 2:40 but I asked her if she got tired and she said no – she was looking for her water bottle. In the same race a girl behind her started running in the other lane and then onto the grass. I thought she was just tired too, but then I saw her chase a butterfly. I’m glad it isn’t just my daughter but it is hilarious to see kids just get so completely distracted that they just stop doing what they were in the middle of doing it.
So parents of older kids, when can I expect her to make it around the track without stopping to contemplate the cloud patterns? She still wants to run so the camp was a win 🙂