It’s just been that time of year again….School Sports Day! How did your event go? Tears and tantrums or loads of fun? Here’s our very own Inconsistent Earth Mother, Jackie Heffer-Cooke, with her own experiences of this annual School event.
One morning a couple of weeks ago my daughter woke up without her usual jovial mood.
Having nagged me for months about letting her walk the 10 minutes to her friends house on the way to school on her own, she had got her way at the turn of her 9th birthday two weeks previous. She had been enthusiastically enjoying the new-found independence every day since.
This particular morning she wanted me to walk her to school. Why? Then I remembered it was Sports Day and, as I began to gently quiz her, the tears came.
The competition element
It’s a funny thing Sports day. Under the age of about 9 they love it. It’s fun, enjoyable, just a few daft running races for us all to enjoy. Then at some point, evidently, the competition element kicks in. We spend all our time as mothers telling our children to just do the best they can, then we put ‘the best they can’ on display in front of all peers, parents, teachers, the latest class ‘crush’.
I remember a similar age where this kicked in for me. I don’t think it was because I didn’t like sport, I think I just didn’t like the ‘winning or losing’ part of it. And not because I’m incredibly competitive, but because everyone likes to be good at stuff and not come last. When it became evident I perhaps wasn’t strong or athletic enough to hold a 1st, 2nd or 3rd, then I lost interest.
Achieving these things for ourselves
This is such a shame as I now know sport is there to be enjoyed, with no expectation. Just to feel your own personal ability and to be as good as you can, then to enjoy the rush at the end when you know you’ve ran that 5k, managed that yoga pose or got the ball through the hoop. But it’s nice perhaps to achieve these things for ourselves, in our own time, for our own feeling of accomplishment.
I don’t know what the answers are, but I know that, as a 42 year old woman, I now enjoy fitness and sport more than ever before, because it’s on my own terms and I achieve a quiet sense of fulfilment with every small inch of progress I make. It seems that to look inwards at our body’s physical ability, understanding our limitations and learning how to make adaptations, and feeling emotionally satisfied with ourselves, means so much more than ‘start – cheer – oh I’ve come last – maybe sport isn’t for me’ attitude, that is so easily picked up at school if we’re not careful.
My daughter came third, twice. She was happy, so I’m happy. I hope that’s enough to keep her interests fired up in what can be such an enjoyable and healthy way to spend some time. Next week we’re going to do some street dance workshops – less competitive (well for now!) – and a whole lot of fun 🙂
A thought by Jackie – YogaBumps and YogaBubs Instructor, HypnoBirthing Teacher, Massage Practitioner, Mum of Two.
To find out about YogaBumps Pregnancy Yoga, YogaBubs Baby Yoga or Hypnobirthing Classes with Jackie you can call the Orange Grove Clinic on 01603 631 900, email [email protected] or go to our contact page.