This week's coffee talk has to do with racing and parenting. Can great bicycle racing and great parenting coexist? Coffee talk discussion gives me the chance to rant and you a chance to fire back with your 2 or 4 cents.
I was recently reading an article on a local healthy-family website, ZisBoomBah.com about a mother who had just completed her first triathlon. Her spin was that parents have the power to inspire kids to participate in athletics. Case in point, after finishing her first triathlon, her daughter was so impressed that she asked if she could take swimming lessons in order to "swim like mommy".
that I accomplished more on that October day
than just my first triathlon. I also inspired
Bella to give the sport of swimming a try. Sure,
she has taken swim lessons off and on since she
was nine months old. But I chose to enroll her
in those classes as a safety precaution. This
time around was different, because Bella voiced
her wish to do more than blow bubbles in a pool.
She wants to swim like her mommy."
I am sure this is the case for many of our local bike racers, their kids watch the races and want to race too. Fortunately for us in Colorado, many race promoters oblige by offering lots of fun events for kids. Besides the obvious health and fitness benefits, kids who get involved with bike racing learn about commitment and training to prepare for races, tenacity to finish a race (even if it has a huge hill) and great sportsmanship, learning to both win and lose gracefully. Cycling has the added advantage of being a very individual sport which can be attractive to kids who don't care for team sports. Even if your kids aren't inspired to race bicycles, racing parents are setting a great example of being active and getting outdoors. They also show kids and other parents alike that athletics aren't just for kids. How many adults do you know who stopped exercising once they graduated from high school or college?
But what about the flip side? Bicycle racing is expensive and can be draining to family resources. Even more draining is the time issue, effective race training takes hours every week added to the time commitment of doing a race (packing, driving, registering, warming-up, actually racing, and going home can suck up an entire day). Kris at 303 has often joked that they need a "married with kids and a full time job" race category. Other local racing parents have shared that they have family rules around racing, like only one race per weekend. So what about you? Do you think great racing and great parenting can coexist? Take our poll and share how your family manages racing and child rearing.