This summer one of Ethan’s activities has been a local track club. He’d never tried track before, but a close friend was signing up and asked if he wanted to try it.
He had been a little unsure initially, even though I really think he’s pretty good at running/ has potential to be. (Unlike Asher, who has really never liked running on land too much 🙂
Ethan seems to have I think a pretty natural “runner’s build” in his body type, too, with the very slender arms and legs/not a husky build at all. I’ve always sort of thought he looks like a mini-version of guys I see out running.
So, in the back of my mind, I thought maybe he would end up getting into either cross country or track possibly someday? That might have totally been an assumption, though.
He is not always the biggest of fan of trying new things. He will, but he tends to be hesitant and seems to have a lot of stipulations about how things have to be.
So when track started up in June, he was a bit on the fence. We encouraged him to just try it! He needed to do something active, anyway. Turns out the practices were “fun” overall, but he didn’t seem totally sold on becoming the next Usain Bolt. 😆
The practices have just been twice a week and have given the kids the opportunity to try all the different events out, including things like long jump, shot put, etc. too. (I will say, I do not see Ethan as likely being very naturally good at the shot put, with his skinny little arms, but hey. It’s still fun to try new things!)
Last night they had an “intra-squad track meet”. (So not a “real” meet, but just a “for fun” meet to compete against each other.)
He was actually really unsure about even wanting to do it. He is used to competing in soccer, as a team, but was very uncomfortable about competing individually. I think he was nervous about having too many eyes on him, or worried that if he got seeded against much bigger/faster/more experienced kids or something he would be embarrassed if he lost.
Ugh. This was frustrating for us, as parents. I understand feelings of trepidation with new things, but honestly this was about as low key as a competition could get. It’s just a local YMCA program.
We also just really wanted him to sort of see this through, since he did agree to do the track program (which included the intra-squad meet…), and also to push himself out of his comfort zone a bit. We tried explaining that you can’t grow as a person if you just do the same things all the time.
He finally agreed to do TWO events out of the 3 max they could do. We signed him up for the 100 m and 200 m dash. I told him these would be nice and quick so it would be over fast. 🙂
He did just fine! There was a huge variety of abilities at the meet, as I had suspected there would be.
Some kids definitely looked like they had done this before and were quite good. Some kids didn’t seem to want to be there (like the little girl in the 1,600 m that yelled up to her dad in the bleachers, “You signed me up for this long event without asking me! I didn’t want to do this one!!” on lap 3 of 4 around the track. lol…).
Ethan was probably somewhere in the middle. Afterwards he sort of shrugged in a slightly-13-year-old styled way and basically said it was “okay”.
He said he overall liked the practices, but didn’t particularly care for the meet. Okay. Fair enough.
He also thought he was too slow. (We tried to explain- a) it doesn’t matter! and b) you have done like, 6 track practices in your entire life!! If you actually got into track, you would be training/ running/ etc. much, much more….. it takes TIME to improve.)
I’m not sure if he will ever do it again, but at least he tried. And, it gave him a way to be physically active this summer (since soccer isn’t in session currently).
Who knows. I never really know how hard to “push” kids on things. I don’t like the idea of forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do. But, I think you also have to know your kid. I know Ethan can be hesitant about new things, but then many times he does end up ultimately enjoying them after he gets over the initial hurdle. So it makes it a bit tricky to navigate.
I think I am glad that we “made” him do the meet. He was really, really opposed to it at first. But he did it and he survived. I’m hopeful that now we can file this away as an example of a time he “didn’t want to do something”, did it anyway, and at least learned about something new/ grew a little bit as a human being. ?? Maybe?? 🙂
Okay, whew, this got longer than intended. Gotta run. We are heading to Six Flags Great America for the day with the boys. Let’s see if I can still hack the big roller coasters!! 😬😬 (I am honestly not sure if I can!!)
I am grateful for no rain today for our amusement park day!!