I had a magical experience at Brylee's EVC championship track meet. Brylee had done well all season long but she was still super nervous for this last big meet of her junior high years. We were all pretty excited to see that girl compete.
We were also excited to watch our niece Hayden compete in the mile run. Hayden had never done track before and mainly plays volleyball. She is tall and muscular which isn't the typical body type for long distance. Most the other girls were 80 pound 4 foot 11 runners. Hayden had not medaled at a meet yet that season and mostly ran to stay in shape for volleyball. Before her event Scott and I and her Mom gave her a pep talk. I told her "do not finish this race and wish you would have tried harder Hayden!" And, "get with the front girls and do NOT fall behind them." It was such an exciting race! Hayden did exactly that, she stayed with those front girls and every time she came around I yelled "stay with them Hayden stay with them!" And wouldn't you know it she kept up for 4 grueling laps and crossed the finish line in 6th place which got her on the medal stand! I don't know that I have ever seen a teenager give their all quite like Hayden did that day, we found out later that she had PR'd by 30 seconds! We were so proud of her!
Brylee had 4 events, the hurdles, 100m dash, 4x1 and long jump. Track season was so hard for our girl. She had to leave practice everyday, sprint to the car, change into her swimsuit in the back seat, eat a quick snack and wipe her mascara off with makeup wipes and the take off for swim team. It was stressful but she handled it like a champ.
The first event was hurdles and even though she kicked a hurdle she was still able to push through and come across in first place!
Her relay team was amazing and smoked everyone else, she was third in the 100m and finished with long jump.
We knew Brylee's best jump would take first but with track you never know if they can jump their best on any given day. And we knew that she had never really had the time at practice to count her steps and get her rhythm right. Her first two jumps she launched off the wrong leg and just didn't get the distance that she usually does. After the second jump she went off to the side and went through several practice runs. She counted marked and remarked and then lined up for her final jump. I could see that familiar determination in her face and as soon as she was airborne I knew she had nailed it!
3 gold metals and a bronze is not too shabby (especially for a short girl with a crooked spine) and then to top it all off her team took first in overall points bringing home a state trophy and a banner for their school. It was a joy to watch Brylee in her element. It was a joy to see her push through, course correct and pull for her team mates. I dont know that I have ever met someone who loves athletics like our girl! She just relished this stuff.
I always tell my kids that its easy to win, that when you loose or come in second is when your true character will show and I always add in a little reminder that since only one person "wins" you will be on the other end of the stick most of the time and that is just OK, live with it, be happy for the winner and be grateful for the experience.
But once in a while it sure is fun to WIN!
A few weeks later Brylee was awarded "Female athlete of the year" for her school. What a great way to end junior high! She is definitely a star to our family and not just because she can run fast and jump far but becasue she is good and kind to her core. How we love our Brylee girl.