Today, I embarked on a new journey as a Coach. After seeing me complete several triathlons this year, the kids have grown increasingly interested in “tri-ing” it out for themselves. (You see what I did there.)
They’ve been begging and begging to do a triathlon. Quentin did the kids division at the Indoor Y Tri in March and loved it! (Video: Q’s Tri Swim) Jasmine loves to swim (as long as she has her life vest on) and Joel just has no fear around water (scary!). Elise knows how to swim but is too dependent on noodles and other flotation devices. They all love to run and we’re working on the bike stuff. Just normal things you learn growing up.
But, a new opportunity popped up recently through our participation with United Athletics Lynchburg. What if instead of able-bodied adults volunteering to pull or push an athlete needing physical assistance in races, we trained and invited peers and siblings of said athletes to do the same?
Bingo! A new angle to assisted athletes was born. The Hoglund kiddos loved this idea of combining two things they love: multisports and inclusion. So…they will be taking on a Splash and Dash race that is put on through a partnership between Endorphin Fitness, Peluso Open Water, and Collegiate School Aquatics Center (CSAC) in Richmond. The race is for kids age 7-15 and a great way to ease them into multisports. The kids are super excited … and yes, I am too! And pending how things go, they will also do the VHBG Youth Triathlon in August too.
Quentin will be assisting Joel. Elise will be assisting Jasmine. The race includes a short swim (100m), followed immediately by a short run (1K) to the finish line.
So tonight we headed to the Jamerson Y for a quick swim and then a run. Quentin took off and swam 10 laps (250 yds) without me even looking! Just wish he’d learn how to put his face in the water. Jasmine wanted to swim too, so she put her life vest on and began to swim her laps (although she’ll be riding in the raft for the Splash & Dash). She was really there for Quentin and Elise to take turns pushing on the run. Joel sat out and stayed home with Daddy making dinner.
But…while in the pool…Elise played the baby role with perfection and cried the whole time. She wanted her “NOOOODLE!” or a swim belt. Please believe me, the girl knows how to swim, she just thinks she needs things to help her. I finally gave up and sat her on the side of the pool; told her that she was done. Which just caused more blessed tears. No wins on the swim with her tonight.
I thought I could redeem the time on the run with Elise, so once Quentin finished his laps, we hopped out and put our shoes on and headed to the truck to get the jogger. Quentin went first to push Jasmine on a loop around Wyndhurst. It was fun to watch him learn to navigate the jogger around trees and people and cars and dogs. Moving cautiously and with kindness. He was doing really well.
About halfway into Quentin’s run, Elise took quite a tumble right onto her legs. Again more tears. She stood up and we evaluated the situation. Just some level 1 road rash. No bleeding. She was okay.
All of sudden, I hear Quentin start to cry. I turn around and ask, “What is wrong?” He shouts (toward Elise), “You had to go and fall, didn’t you? Way to ruin our training, Elise.” Meanwhile, Jasmine is sitting in the jogger yelling, “Come on, guys, push me faster!”
Then, the words of Jen Hatmaker came to mind immediately, “What kind of fresh hell is this?!”
I took some deep breaths and said to Elise, “You got a decision to make. You can push through the pain and suck it up. Or, we can turn around and go home.” She chose. To be strong and brave. YES!!
Quentin calmed down and thanked Elise for not giving up. Made me almost cry.
At the top of the hill, Quentin passed the jogger off to Elise to push. She’s on the shorter side so has a bit of harder time seeing the front tire. She only came close to hitting a trash can and a few trees but toward the end of our run finally got the hang of it, and wanted to keep running, even after we got back to the truck to go home.
(Video: Elise pushing Jasmine on the run!)
Day 1 reflections:
1. Do not take more than 2 kids. Keep them in teams – the boys or the girls. Not both or intermixed.
2. Sometimes you have to sit out and sometimes you fall down.
Tomorrow will be an attempt to work on bike skills. I am really hoping that Elise is willing to give up her training wheels before the youth tri in August. Another thing she is quite dependent on, even though I know she could ride the bike without them. Got to keep working on this brave thing with her.