Track and Wait and Field

Like many parents, Palo Alto and I faced the summer with angst. The age-old question of what to do with the children during summer vacation came up, and just like last year we were back to the empty calendar before us and a list of summer camps to seriously consider.

One that rose to the top of the list was neighborhood Track & Field. It met all 3 of our requirements:

  • Close in proximity to our home (practices that is; meets totally different)
  • Reasonably priced (per class cost was alone reason to do it)
  • And it would do the work of tiring them out that would not include either adult having to breathe heavily or break a sweat.

To boot, our kids were interested (that always makes it a lot easier when you don’t have to drag them kicking and screaming).

We’re very fortunate in that the coaches for our Track & Field team are trained professionals, truly dedicated to sharing the sport with our children and helping them identify with the athlete in all of them.

My girls love it. They’re starting to learn some of the techniques involved with the various sports and have already found those that they know they’re good at (long jump, 100 meter, 200 meter).

When I say that we picked a camp that would exhaust them, I’m not lying. They have practices 3X a week at 6PM — which in Texas time that’s hot-as-hell-hour; and most weekends, for the length of the camp (6 weeks), they have a meet that are typically on Saturday.

We’ve gone to 2 meets so far.┬áLast weekend the two youngest and I headed off to a meet in Lockhart, TX. Except for the unbelievable heat, the long, tireless wait, the disorganized events, my locking my keys in the car, and then having to get my car jumpstarted, we had a great time.

Did I mention the tireless wait? Lord help me, it was excruciating. The organizers were just ill-prepared and it showed. Here’s a picture of kids lined up in their heats, and waiting…

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Here they are waiting again…

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And these are the coaches waiting … (this wait was ugly, with tears and raised voices, and I’m not talking about the kids)…

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This little one was onto something. She just plopped down on the track! Waiting…

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But then there are moments like these, and I’m reminded of why I signed my girls up for this.

Look at her fly!

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And this. Here’s our awesome coach leading his athletes to their next event.

Coach Jermaine Cooper, University of Texas All-American / Image rights

And our other awesome coach reminding said athletes that half the battle is trying, and next time will be better.

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That Texas heat knocks us around a bit, but it never breaks us.


Ellen Degeneres

I was at the gym today, had my earplugs in listening to some music while running on the treadmill. If you have an AM/FM radio in your playah you can synch up to one of the large screen TVs above and watch anything that’s randomly playing (at our gym it’s often ESPN or Fox News). I don’t have an AM/FM radio. I have an old iPod and so listen to my music but watch the TV (can we say multitask?). Ellen Degeneres was on the TV right above me and in my opinion, you don’t really need sound to laugh along with her.

Well, an older gentleman sidles up next to me on the treadmill to my right, gets himself warmed up, just about ready to go, then notices that Ellen is on the TV directly above us. I can see out of the corner of my eye that judgmental look. He looked at the other TVs further down the row, looked up at Ellen, shook his head a little bit, then started to make a move to another machine. Before doing so, he stopped and interrupted me, asked me if I was watching Ellen. “Yep, yes, I am,” to which he mosied on over to another machine.

I dedicate the Ellen above to my friend at the gym who can’t appreciate the funniest lady ever to grace our televisions — one of the funniest Ellens ever. (You have to understand my humor. I laugh when people fall down. NEVER TO THEIR FACE (right Alisa?), but I do laugh. “Oh she’s young. She’ll be fine.”)

Hella hot yoga

Bikhram Yoga / Image rights -

So by now some of you may have gathered that I enjoy a good workout. I do my best. I’m not as regular as I could be, but I try. I also mentioned many-a-posts back that despite that, I fail terribly in the stretching department. A great athlete knows that a full regimen includes interval training, cardio training, resistance training and stretching (and rest, don’t forget rest, which is underrated as to the benefits to which it provides. I’M SERIOUS!! And I don’t mean to brag, but I’m DAMN good at Rest.). I do my basic stretching before a run and workout but there’s a lot of data supporting the benefits to having a yoga type class in your repertoire.

Well, many of you yoga fans out there will be sorely disappointed to read that I’m not big on yoga. I’ve given it the good ‘ole college try but it BORES. ME. TO. DEATH. I’m sorry!! I’ve really tried but every time I’m there, be it Hatha yoga or Bikhram yoga, my mind wanders. “What should I make for dinner tonight? That damn dog needs another bath. I wonder if I can squeeze it in today before I jump on the computer for a few hours to work? This nail polish on my toes just does not work. “ It’s terrible I know, but I just think that my brain is not quiet enough for yoga.

Yoga is all about the moment, about your breathing. I don’t want to focus on my breathing (I’m an asthmatic. I’ve listened to my breathing enough to know that as long as it’s clear, I’m happy.) Then there’s the hot Bikhram yoga. Holy hot hell!!! (This is the yoga that’s done in a 105 degree room, 26 different poses.) I tried it a few years ago shortly after the birth of my second daughter and I seem to remember enjoying it more then than I did most recently (perhaps because the brain forgets painful experiences, like labor pain). I tried it recently here in Austin and my husband and I (yes, the dear man actually joined me) were no joke, close to death. We enjoyed it so much that we vowed never to try it again. I could deal with the heat (crap! I survived 114 degrees this past summer here in Austin!), I just can’t deal with how damn long that class is. 90 minutes! Uh-uh, no way. That’s just too long. And again, the head just isn’t there. I’m thinking ahead to things I need to do, watching the minutes left in the class. It’s not good.

How do people do it? How do you do it if you’re a yoga enthusiast? And if you don’t do yoga, how do you include stretching in your workout regimen? Help a girl out here!