Sunday was that most dreaded day of the year - Club Championships for the three ski racers in our family. Luckily for me my Other Half gave up racing when he became the sole proprietor of our business. There isn't enough disability insurance in the world to cover us if he was hurt and couldn't work. As for me? I am waiting until I am in the over 80 category when I hope I will be the only one left standing or at least with all body parts intact. My competitors will either have to enter in the Bionic category or else won't be walking after all the injuries and joint replacements they are already enduring in middle age. As for the boys, it was a learning year. All three were in the lower half age-wise of their categories so even Number Three wasn't expecting to be on the podium as he has done in years past. But he and his middle brother acquitted themselves well, coming in fourth and fifth respectably. Number One who works the hardest still has yet to break into the top ten of his group and it has been a frustrating year. He started out with high hopes after he got back from training in Colorado in November when his coaches told him he was one of the top skiers but as the season progressed he fell back into his old ways. No anxiety attacks this year but over-thinking every race. He is conservative and cautious by nature just like his father and that coupled with the fact that many of his peers have bulked up considerably and he is still skinny as a rail he just isn't quite there yet.
Saturday night he wasn't feeling great but was still game to go in the morning. He had an okay first run but fell in the second and when everyone gathered for the prize-giving he really wasn't feeling well but I told him we had to stay and cheer on his buddies. He lasted about halfway through the awards and then finally said he had to go home. My Other Half and I both went with him and left the other two with my sister. When we were almost home my sister called, screaming, "He won! He won! You missed it. He won!" Every year they award a trophy to the athlete who best exemplifies good sportsmanship and dedication. Earlier that afternoon, as we were walking the dog, I had remarked to my Other Half that I hoped this award would go to a kid who really deserved it, not just to another top racer who won all the time anyways as it seems to have over the past few years. Those kids get lots of recognition but the ones like my eldest who love the sport and try their best every time but just don't have that extra something to get on the podium, they rarely get recognized. Until now. As my sister relayed what the head coach had said about it being a unanimous decision voted on by all the coaches and the club cheered as my son's name was called, I couldn't believe we had missed it. I know that for my very shy son it would have been agony to go up on stage but for me, as a parent, a field that hands out very few awards for raising a great kid, I would have loved it. We did receive lots of congratulatory emails from our friends and the two little brothers were, of course more than happy to accept on his behalf. And, I know, it's not about me but I am going to make damn sure when he graduates from Grade 8 this June that I am in the front row to take all the credit for my wonderful first born.
Numbers Two and Three proudly accepting on behalf of their big brother