There's been a real focus on the Moms of the Olympic athletes at the 2012 London games. And while I'm impressed by the commitment these moms have had in getting their children to the Olympics, we shouldn't overlook how Moms themselves compete at a world class level every day, in many challenging and sometimes stupefying physical efforts. Myself, this week I competed in:
• Hurdling: Running 10 minutes late for a doctor's appointment, and due to an unfortunate incident involving fighting siblings and an errant softball throw, I'm jumping over knapsacks, skateboards, laundry baskets, and assorted rubbery clog shoes to get to the family room, retrieve the crying child's favourite blankie (which will cure the pain of course) and getting back out the door before the doctor decides to punish ME for being late...for once.
• Sprinting: Yep, that's me, running through the aisles of the grocery store. I've bought all the ingredients for my daughter's special dinner, but forgot the favourite topping -- get out of the way old lady I need to get to the sour cream and back again before the cashier abandons my order (yes those are my kids wandering the parking lot, thanks for asking.)
• Long-Distance Running: "Long," being a relative thing. The 1000 metres to the park seems like 10,000 when towing along a screaming six-year-old who desperately needs to go pee but simultaneously doesn't want to leave his friends on the jungle gym.
• Long Jump: From one side of the family room to the other just in time to catch the spilling chocolate milk from hitting Daddy's precious new rug.
• Water Polo: More like Water Haul-O, an annoying and exhausting event created by Dads which involves inexplicably picking up and hurling young children from one end of the pool to another. Oh, where's Dad? Resting his weary arms at work while I pick up the slack (a.k.a. the kid). Again! Again!
• Beach Volleyball: Yes there's nothing quite so attractive as watching a mother of four in an ill advised bikini, leap about on the beach trying to wrestle the Monsters Inc beach ball from a teasing teenage brother and return it to its rightful teary younger sibling.
• Javelin: This wasn't a physical sort of javelin throw attempt, rather a metaphysical or "shooting daggers" style of competition which took place during a fight between my two children while other pleasantly disposed children played like lambs at a public swimming pool.
• Weight Lifting: No, not my own girth off the couch after watching seven straight hours of Olympic coverage, but the Herculean effort of carrying reusable shopping bags which are ubiquitously filled with juice, milk, pop and heavy frozen items. Could they have made these bags any bigger? Can one of you kids get the one full of bread? Sheesh.
My best event is still to come. The High Jump. The one I'll be doing the morning of September 4 -- the first day of school.