About a year ago I shared a story and aspirations I have for my son. Here is the link: My Son- The Future Olympian. Today I am with him again as he is working hard competing in another set of races. This time we are at the Richmond Oval on the outskirts of Vancouver. This was the location where the Speed Skating events were held during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Throughout the building there are inspirational images of the past Canadian athletes that partook in previous Olympics. Seven years later- the facility is well maintained and busy. The city has split the large oval into two separate rinks, and a dozen basketball courts. There’s a ping pong table tournament area as well as a sectioned off for a Cheerleading competition. (Coincidentally, the Cheerleading competition that my daughter will be attending later today.)
These skating meets can be overwhelming. The hardest part about these competitions is the waiting. Waiting alongside racers from other clubs can feel intimidating. Before the races, my son hangs out with his friends in the facility- often playing on iPads, iPhones, or wandering around and even taking a break to play drop-in ping pong during lunch. There is a special camaraderie in our skating club. As the skaters are on the ice- the rest of the group cheers from the stands offering encouragement.
All of this waiting is for his two minutes of ice time. During his two minutes of work- my son pushes his limits. At his age, places don’t matter as much as his times for his age group. So even if he comes in third out of five, his time may push him up another level for the next meet. He wants to beat his personal best times. Sometimes he wants to improve his stance and form- so he focuses intently on that.
When he gets on the ice- it’s him vs his own nerves. He has a determination that shows up when he is on the ice. As if he is the only soul in the arena. The last person who can psyche him out is himself. He has put himself out there and pushes his boundaries.
I’m proud of our son.