Friday, February 26, 2010

what sport?

Grace demonstrated a great trick recently, she appeared to be practicing starts for the luge (crazy sport where you slide down ice feet first), which had me wondering what olympic sports my other kids might be suited to.

I think Sausage Boy would be best in the coxes seat of a rowing eight, he seems headed to be the kind of height, weight and build that being 55kg on race day would be a non issue, he seems to have the right kind of personality and would have no fear of handling 8 men twice his size. He also has a very healthy sense of fear, he can spot hazards and isn't afraid to override others if necessary - the cox is in charge of the crew on the water, like the captain of a ship, I have no doubt that if he felt the conditions were unsafe, that he would override a coach. He only gets anxious about a hazard if it's not his job to do something about it and even then he does as much as his role allows. One example is when Grace was playing with something he deemed unsafe, but Andrew and I were ok with, he didn't take it from her, but watched her like a hawk, ready to jump up and take action if his fears looked like coming true. Realising his fear, we did then take it from her.

An acquaintence of mine died when their boat was swamped during training, it was reported in the press, but outside of the rowing world there is minimal knowledge of the risks, few other sports put athletes on water without a flotation device in vessels that are often flawed like Titanic or worse and being low in the water, conditions can make it come over the side, getting a hole isn't the only risk. So far he seems to demonstrate a personality that would fit the role of a cox, the ability to remain in charge of a vessel even if it's not what the coach wants you to do!

He likes to win, for him, completing a puzzle is winning a game, the pleasure of completing it comes from having beaten a piece of paper, so I could see him in sports where you compete one on one, but because of his size, it would have to be one with weight divisions, like boxing or judo, I can see him being good at them, but it may well not be something we'd even let him try, he went to a karate party once and knocked the instructor to the ground as he wasn't prepared for the mix of strength and coordination that came from one of the smallest kids there. It will take discernment in future to determine if such an activity might channel aggression to a safe time and place, or multiply it.

As for Banana Girl, she's independent, any team sport would have to be one where she could still be individual, like the leg of a relay, or an individual score in gymnastics, but not group rhythmic gymnastics or synchronised swimming. At heart, she's a dancer, so looking at olympic sports, that would be figure skating or rhythmic gymnastics, but already I see her not wanting to try things she knows she can't do, but also a perfectionist streak that perhaps as she grows she might be one who practices a move over and over again.

Grace is far to young to really have any idea, but given the recent tragedy of the death of an olympic luger during training, it's not exactly something I'll be encouraging! Physically, she seems to be our only child that demonstrates any sign of the height genes that we know are lurking on both sides of the family, but I doubt she's heading to be like my aunt, just my height or a bit more. The glimmers we see of her personality suggests the opposite to the individuality Banana Girl shows. She'll be influenced by being a third child, but with the gap, she'll also get plenty of time as an only child. For now I'll settle with lightweight rower, or middle distance runner (more scope for group training than long distance).

The great thing about blogs is that this is now recorded, it's not a diary entry that I might lose, or not keep up, because there is no point, or a thought that I had and will forget about in a few weeks, it has no short term impact in what activities they do and it's not an indication of any direction we would push them, just an awareness of doors I might want to knock on for them, the main action point for now is going to be keeping an eye open for dance opportunities for Banana Girl, she's desparate to do it.

1 comment:

Joe, Jennifer, Clara, Hannah, Eliza said...

Fun to hear your thought on the kids, Anne! It is so great to see their unique personalities and interests develop :)