This past weekend my family and I attended the YMCA Strong Kids Triathlon in Lafayette and my oldest two boys participated. It was exciting right out of the gate because when the kids arrived we put their event numbers on their shirts and they were marked on the arm and leg with the same number. We were guided to the next area where we were given chalk to mark out a spot for their bikes to rest while they went to the swimming portion of the event.
As I wait in the swimming line with other kids and parents I say to someone near me "Where is the daddy coping area?" She laughs and says she is nervous too. This was my first experience where my kids participated in an event like this and at first I was a little intimidated. I know how it can be dropping my child off at school so I was expecting some of the same chaos here. Not to mention I am going to give my kids (who can't swim well) over to someone I don't know in the pool and expect everything to be OK? Well, they were OK and so was I! In fact they were better than OK, they were having fun!
All my fears went away at the front of the line when my child jumped in with no hesitation. He was being safely passed from Volunteer to Volunteer from one end of the pool to the other. It was a short swim since they are younger and they came out on the other side ready to shed their swimming vests and get ready for the biking part of the challenge. As my wife and I help them get their shirts, helmets, socks and shoes on I'm now excited for their biking part of the Triathlon.
They run their bikes to the bike mounting area and jump on their bikes at the same time and peddle away quickly. I probably should have read the course material because at this point I'm not sure where they are going or when they will be back but I have no fears. The entire area is blocked off and covered with friendly faces including those of many Volunteers so I know they will return safely. Here they come back after they rode the course and I see them dismount as instructed and run their bikes back to where they need to leave them before starting their run to the finish line.
Before signing the boys up my oldest wasn't so sure he wanted to participate as he isn't a big fan of running long distances and he didn't want to be cold after the swim portion. I bring this up because at this point he is having a blast and didn't once complain about being cold or having to run the last length to the finish line. In fact he is running very fast and I'm sure he's not going to slow down until he gets to the finish line. At the finish line which is very nicely put together he is awarded a medal for finishing and a lot of fun stuff awaits us all. Free water from sponsor Trail Ridge REALTORS, free pizza coupons and a spinning wheel for more free stuff from Mod Pizza, balloon animals from Camp Little Tooth and more.
Having three young kids occasionally there are days I wake up already exhausted and look at what we have to do that day and wonder if I will make through. On this day this was not the case and I would urge any parent with kids to sign them up for the next YMCA Strong Kids Triathlon. I was comfortable, the kids were safe/happy/having fun and it was an all around a good time. Thank you to my wife for signing them up, the volunteers and YMCA employees for all their work and to the sponsors for hosting such a great event.
My early anxiousness that day reminded me of a good quote from Lao Tzu: "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present." Stay present folks.