I love watching the Olympics. Inspirational people achieving superhuman feats of athleticism. So inspired by Mo Farrah’s 10000m sprint, there was no holding me back on my weekly run. I pounded forward like a professional runner, head high, shoulders back… Sadly, after 5km, my legs failed me and like a pathetic amateur, I had to slow to a walking pace, red cheeked and gasping for breath… I concede that my Olympic days are well and truly over. But the kids…. Well, there is a chance for them yet! A little bit of encouragement and commitment and I can stand tearily in the stands, proudly cheering on my little darlings. Living vicariously through my children is my future now. My days are numbered but the world is their oyster!
Over the last week I have been encouraging a little arm-chair Olympics, to get them in the right spirt.
Me: Come and see these wonderful gymnasts
Boy 1: OK. What are they doing?
Me: Erm. Gymnastic type things. That’s a barre, or…a beam… or…anyway, they balance on that and jump and things.
Boy 1: What are they doing? Haha, they look funny,
Me: Floor gymnastics… They kind of dance and balance and flip. Looks good, aye?
Boy 1: Erm…
Me: Bet you’d like to try that?
Boy 1: No way!
Boys then proceeded to do a few wobbly forward rolls, a crab and a rubbish handstand and I see their gymnastic careers gently slip away.
Now, here’s a sport we can work with. The Husband used to be pretty good at this (so he keeps telling me). His family once thought he’d be the next Borg but alas, they were all delusional. Still, there must be some hand/eye coordination rattling through the genes. A quick trip to the local court and hopes are dashed. Boy 2 announces his legs are tired after hitting (read: missing) the ball once and Boy 2 loses his rag each time the ball hurtles past his head. The Husband, self-appointed head coach, generally shouts out commands and demonstrates (read: show-off) with superfast, aggressive serves that no one can return. We all shuffle off for ice cream and leave him to it.
The endless Saturday morning swimming lessons could pay off in the long run. If there was a competition for “pretending to be a superhero whilst swimming under water” they would be top of their game. Apparently everything else to do with swimming is “a little bit boring”. Maybe I will stick them on a 10m board and see if they jump… There are endless possibilities.
I taught both of my children to ride their bikes. This involved a back breaking 24 hours where I had to hold on to the back of their bike, promising not to let go, whilst they wobbled around trying to find their balance. During this time, I repeatedly shouted “keep peddling”, “don’t stop!”, “look up”, “steer! STEER!” and “use your breaks!” before realising I hadn’t actually shown them how to stop. This looks pretty much the same thing that was happening in the velodrome. They even hold on to the back of the seats and give them a little shove at the start. Maybe I will find a hill and give them a push – let’s see how fast they can go.
I’ve got 4 years to work on the next stage of their training. Maybe I can work with the skills they already have. They are brilliant at hitting each other with sticks (fencing?) and lobbing bits of food at each other (javelin?) and beating each other up (boxing?). Surely that gold medal is within our grasp…? Anyway, back to the TV Olympics. All this talk of exercise is making me feel tired.