This year our family has dived into a new life phase: competitive sports. As an "old" 7th grader, Cedar qualifies for all the high school sports. I wasn't sure if either she or we were ready for this last summer when she decided to play soccer, but the first morning of pre-season when she got up early, ate a granola bar, and was out the door, I thought, "Wow. I guess she is ready." And she has been. During soccer season it was all soccer. Her coaches were fabulous, her team welcomed her in, and we all thought, "Ok! Here we go!" "Soccer is my favorite sport," she declared.
Then came winter season. Despite the complete lack of snow or cold, ski season started promptly on Nov. 1. For two months they ran and did strength training in the dark, often in the rain. I had to hand it to them. Cedar never complained once, though she did get a wicked cold and we did buy her some actual running shoes. She is starting to thrill in being Hard Core. Gradually snow developed in other places (naturally or artificially) and their coaches traveled heroic distances so that they could at least ski a little bit before their first meet.
Right around Christmas--snow! They wouldn't let her compete at the first meet ("Just watch at least once,") though she probably would have thrown herself out there without knowing what was going on. Another meet was for varsity only; she returned, commenting with pride, "There were over 1000 skiiers; to find a bigger meet, you have to go to Norway." First she loved nordic skiing, then she changed her mind because her form was "terrible." Today she placed 14th out of 82 for 7-9 graders--pretty good in our book--and I think she is going to say she likes nordic again.
This week we are headed to Thunder Bay to recruit college students for our "Sea Change" sailing voyage in May. She wants to come, but oh---it's team picture day! I wish we could spare her the pain of not having it all, but alas, she is going to have to choose. When I see that competitive thrill in her eyes, I feel a gleam in my own eye and a quickening thrill in my breath. Besides, ski meets are just so darn cool! Cedar says, "I love everything about ski team. I love being outside; I love the competition; I love working hard; I love the social aspect. I love the coaches. I REALLY love the racing outfits."