So, this little girl has been in "Beast Mode" lately. She does not get this competitive streak from me, that's for sure. This is my youngest daughter who did an open water swim competition of 3/4 mile across a lake at the age of 7. SEVEN!! This is the girl that begged me to start running 5K races at age 6, and placed in the last few 5K races she did (local races, so we're in a small pond here).
So, she just completed this AWESOME program called the Healthy Kids Running Series, which is a national organization that has chapters throughout the country. We are lucky enough to have a chapter in our town, and it's been a great experience for the kids in our community.
The children, starting at pre-k and going up through middle school, race in age-appropriate distances every Sunday evening for 5-weeks. It's a timed race, so there is a competitive element, but the focus is mostly on fun and fitness. All participants get a shirt and a medal at the end of the series. In addition, the top three boys and top three girls in each age group are awarded with a special trophy. So, of course... Rella being Rella, was gunning for first place. She loves trophies.
Her race distance was the half-mile.
She gave it her all every week, and improved her times and her race techniques. She showed great sportsmanship throughout, and learned how to push herself further and faster. One little girl was BIG competition, so Rella had to learn how to dig deep.
But, she had her goal and she stayed focused. And guess what? That little long-legged silly girl DID it. Four first places and one second place added up to taking the trophy for overall first place girl in her age group. She was SO happy. And what I loved was that she gave a heartfelt congratulations the second and third place girls without being instructed to.
I'm not going to lie, it's really exciting to see your kid go out there and "crush it," but I'm very realistic that we're not going to the Olympics or anything here. We're just havin' fun and staying fit! I'm just really proud of her that she is out there doing something, challenging herself to be her own personal best. She had the will but she also put in the work. She didn't just wish it and want it, she trained for it. No matter what the outcome, that is the most important lesson. Trophy or no trophy, my four girls are all rock stars in my book because they are out there trying, with good attitudes.
Speaking of Rock Star girls... I'm honored to be a guest poster at the Girls In The Game Get In the Game Blog talking about their amazing Triathlon Team for underprivileged, at-risk girls. This organization was featured in my book, Women Who Tri, and I can't say enough about the incredible things they are doing in the city of Chicago. Please go over and check out this organization!