Not gonna lie. I was more than a little freaked out when I found out I was going to be racing in the meet on Sunday. My husband figured this out when he made a joke and I turned on him like a feral cat and snapped, “I’m not ready to joke about this yet.”
He suggested I have some wine.
Y’all probably think I’m super spontaneous and spur-of-the-moment because of the whole speed skating thing, but I’m not. I’m a closet control freak with a side order of super punctual and a dash or pre-planning. When I’m flying, I can also keep the airplane in the air through sheer willpower.
So it threw me for a loop to know I was going to be racing in seven days and not the three months from now I had planned in my head. But I’m completely fine now, more than fine, in fact. And the reason I’m completely fine is because of the people.
This speed skating club I’m a part of? The people are phenomenal. From the people who run it and volunteer their time to the parents and, of course, the kids. Basically, four days a week I am surrounded by amazingness.
A few weeks ago, Hockey Playing Husband offered to take Speed Skating Son to his practice and I was all, “Nope, I want to go.” And I do – not just because I like to watch Speed Skating Son but because it’s my time to sit in stands and chat with the other speed skating parents. There’s a row of us and we talk and laugh and deal with our other kids who are running around like maniacs. Sometimes we even hug.
Do you understand the implications of that? I have been hugged by other parents and didn’t stiffen up like a board.
That is huge.
My control issues affect every facet of my life.
When I found out I was racing, I immediately texted one mom, N. to tell her. Her response? “Rock on, Sharon. I can’t wait to see you.”
She didn’t actually use the words “rock on” — I’m paraphrasing because I can’t access my texts due to the fact that once again my phone has died. For a pre-planning control freak you’d think I’d remember to charge my phone.
The reaction was the same when I told the other parents last night. They were excited and happy for me, the exact opposite of my initial response to racing which was fear and panic.
And when I asked one of the coaches the race distances because if I had to do a 1000m or god forbid, a 1500m, they would need paramedics on hand. He laughed and told me I could skate behind him and draft the entire time which made ME laugh because I CAN’T SKATE FAST ENOUGH TO DRAFT ANYONE.
And the people I will be racing with? (Note that we race “with” people, not against them. This is all about personal bests, people). These are the people I skate with every week and they have always been incredibly supportive, helpful and kind.
Not to mention the kids. The kids in this club, oh my gawd. These kids who put themselves out there every time they step on the ice. I have seen them fall and get up more times than I can count. That’s the true measure of a person, is it not? Not how many times you fall, but how many times you get up. These kids are the getter-uppers in life.
This speed skating club I’m a part of is something special, something very special indeed. And I get to race with them. How could that be anything less than spectacular.