Sunday, 18 August 2013

Is your competitive instinct under control? Mine isn't...yet.

I am not competitive.  I'm always saying it.  Or am I? 

But on Saturday when I was watching my netballer play in her semi final, this weird fierce fire boiled up in me.  I WANTED them to win.  They've won every game this season, they deserve to win.  They've tried so hard.  

Really? Harder than the other teams?  Surely not.  

On the sideline, other parents faced the same internal fight.  We kept trying to bring the importance of the semi final into perspective, while keeping the girls motivated and fired up.  Trying to hide how important it is to us (who aren't even playing) for them to win.  

The score swayed wildly, we played injury time, the other team lost a player for nearly a whole quarter, allowing us to get far ahead, and then reeled us in, goal by goal, for the next quarter, leaving our girls down by one, and utterly demoralised.  In the third quarter, our girls came into their own, and we forged ahead by 7.  

It was under 10 H grade netball.  And yet, it was excruciating.  Rivetting.  There was courage, there were hard knocks.  The shooters tried, tried and tried again.  The parents sighed and grimaced and ground our teeth.  Sometimes we put our hands over our eyes.  At one point I even went and watched another game just to cut my internal tension.

I just couldn't even...

But then, my poor chick, my poor poor accident prone, wobbly ankled child, playing GD chasing after a GA 20cm taller than her, and 20% faster, in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, went over on her ankle as she tried to keep up with her foe as they raced towards their goal.  

She hopped straight up.  But when she turned her face my way, I saw it wasn't good.  She was nearly in tears.  The rules are strict.  I'm not allowed on even when it's my kid who's injured (it's bloody hard not to just run on and cuddle her) and only a designated first aid parent can go on the court.  She stuck at her opponent, and kept on playing, marking her player as best she could.  But she was struggling and they got another goal in.  We were about to call time and swap her with another kid, but just as we got her attention the final bell went.  

I went straight to her, she went straight to me.  We wrapped our arms around each other and held on tight.  She had a little cry.  I felt like having a little cry, overly invested as I was.  Plus, my baby was hurting.  

I hobbled her over to the team, who had made a messy, slightly crazed circle of parents and kids.  The scream of victory we sent up was primal.  We did three cheers, I'm not even sure it was for us or for the opposition.  Sarah was cuddled and made much of by her coach and manager and other kids.  She smiled tearily and hung on to me.  

We'll meet that team again in the final, I'm sure of it.  They will play next Saturday, win, and play us the week after.  I'm worried that we've played our final.  But I'm only writing that here.  

Those girls played their hearts out.  I am so proud of them all.  

Sarah and I went to the first aid room, got ice and advice and she got a lift home with a friend, who was kind and gentle to her while I went to watch Joshie.  She hopped and limped around until this afternoon, when a moste kinde friend (who is also a physio) strapped her ankle.  

Netball was not the only competition of the weekend.  There was also a monumental game of Cluedo. 

Cluedo fiends. 
There was also a rugby game that got nasty when a larger than average opposition player took out a few of our players with his wildly waving hands every time he was tackled.  Parents got edgy.  Words were exchanged and they weren't polite ones.  

You could see the kids were aware of this unpleasant interaction, even as they continued playing.  I think that's what shut everyone up quickly.  It was an ugly moment.  No one was in the right and no one came out looking very good.

The view from my run this morning.  
I fought for my exercise this morning.  And I won, eventually and got out for a run.

10 x 6 year olds in a tree at the end of season soccer get together.  
And we finished off with an awesome soccer team, end of season get together.  It was wild, it was crazy.  There were ten kids in a tree, pizza, beer and wine.

And now I've eaten a family pack of Maltesers my run was all for nothing.  God they were good.

I need a week to recover from my weekend.