Monday, July 20, 2009

The Mom Part of the Ironmom

Probably the biggest benefit of being an athlete mom is the net effect it has on the health of your children. I've never required my kids to play any sports, never signed them up for soccer league, never pushed them in any way, yet they see the healthy vibrant lifestyle of my husband and I (and truth be told I'm sure the genetic desire to move one's body is in there somewhere as well) and over the years they have chosen sports of their own to pursue.

Recently, Mackenzie who has traditionally gravitated to solitary activities like kayaking and archery, as well as devoting time to karate, asked me to take him running. So we've gone down to the local track together and he's done laps while I timed and cheered him on, then I do my Crossfit Endurance workout (often laps or sprints or whatnot) and he cheers me on. On alternating days, he has come and swum laps in the pool with me, employing those "genetically gifted" (read: ultra-large) hands and feet of his to good use as paddles. The only problem is that he continually cracks me up by pulling antics like going into buddha-like meditative poses on the bottom of the pool while I'm swimming, thus causing me to crack up and snort water up my nose!

Meanwhile, Asa has taken up what I knew would be the perfect sport for her: water polo! Between her awesome swimming abilities (there are those hands and feet again, after all, plus the trademarked Ironmom shoulders) and her ruthless killer instinct (a character trait that I don't always appreciate mind you), I knew she would love it. And with only 25,000 water polo players in the whole country, it's a sport where you can actually go somewhere if you have some talent, so who knows.

So it was that this last week saw me on the sidelines for the very first time in my 13 years as a mom, cheering on Asa in her first water polo game. Of course at this age level, they spend more time floating around looking confused and trying to figure out where the ball is and where they should be going, but it's all good fun. We got to watch one of the games with the older kids in the program and all I can say is WOW. The level of play improvement in a couple of years is vast, so I think she'll have a fun time growing in this sport if that's what she chooses to pursue.

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