Sunday, October 05, 2008

Only 159 Miles Short of an Ironman

After watching Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt for a couple of weeks this summer, Jackson had visions of grandeur while picturing himself as a world-class athlete. 

So when the local Try-athlon for Kids came up, Jackson was in. His biggest concerns weren't related to the actual swimming, biking, and running, but to the amount of frenzied fans in the "stadium" who would be cheering wildly for him and chanting his name.

Despite learning that he would have exactly three cheerleaders (all of whom share his gene pool), he still decided to go for it.

Y'all, I left my telephoto lens at home, so you'll have to deal with the blurriness that is officially my trademark. 

Although when you consider that my number one quality in a digital camera (size) had nothing to do with photos, that might shed light into the lackluster--but entertaining!--final product.

The swim was one length of the pool and Jackson thought his shark swim trunks would put fear in the hearts of the other 6 year-olds. 
I might have been reading too much into it, but I felt some of them trembled when they looked his way.

There were no official times, no clocks, no prizes for placing. Just a certificate for finishing.

I loved that.

My precious child has inherited the curse of perfectionism from someone and I was just hoping Jackson would have fun. Honestly, a morning without tears would incite as much excitement as Michael Phelps outreaching the Other Butterfly Guy whose name I've already forgotten and am too lazy to google.
The kids started in the pool, which I thought was smart because diving off the starting blocks makes me nervous.
J got to race with his buddy and here they are motoring down the lane together. Apparently kids get an adrenaline rush just like adults because I've never seen Jackson hustle down the swim lane like he did this morning.

For those of you who've never seen Jackson Live and In Person, let me tell you something: He does nothing quickly. Nothing.

But today? He was on the move.

After putting on shoes and socks in record time (a task which takes upwards of 20 minutes before school each morning), he channeled Lance Armstrong and hit the bike.

If anything, he was more heroic than Lance, who to my knowledge, has never ridden through the Alps in shark swim trunks.

The race was for kids age 6-12 and Jackson was in one of the last heats. The greenbelt trail (or more accurately, sidewalk) was pretty crowded with runners, bikers, and misplaced cones by the time Jackson began his leg of the Tour.

Jackson even showed some uncharacteristic aggressiveness when he passed the girl.

And I showed some uncharacteristic restraint when I didn't shout: TRY NOT TO CHOKE ON HIS DUST, CHICKY!

Pedaling up and down hill for a mile didn't take much time at all, and Jackson transitioned to the run.

The lack of focus in the next pictures will give you a sense of the great speed with which he ran.

Don't these pictures remind you of the quality usually reserved for faraway shots used for blackmail?

Which reminds me: If I am ever going to blackmail someone, I should definitely get a new camera.

Also, there've been a bunch of John Grisham movies on TBS this weekend.

Every time I shouted "WHOOOOO HOOOOOOOO! Who is the fastest runner to ever pound the pavement?! Jaaaaacccckkkkkksssoooooonnnnnnnnn," he would throw his arms in the air and get a little spring in his step.

He was a champ--high-fiving his buddy on the homestretch.

For the final 25 yards, Jackson had his very own Chariots of Fire moment, when some friends from the neighborhood (and their parents) ran along with him.

That was as close to the rabid cheering he envisioned, but based on Jackson's smile, it was all he needed.

Jackson wanted to hang his certificate in a prominent spot in the kitchen so everyone would be sure to know that a "Triathlete Lives Here."

Do you know what Lilly said her best part of today was?

Cheering for Jackson.

Sweet baby girl.
No matter how hard he tries, J just doesn't have a tough/angry/intimidating look down.

That's what the sharks are for.
The boys will have to work on their chest bump before they're ready for the NFL.

Or pee-wee football, for that matter.
This is the entire coaching staff of Team Jackson. Brad deals with actual skill, motivation, and gear organization.

I pretty much provide the snacks and blurry pictures.

J, I am so proud of you! I knew you could do it. 

I would watch you over the Olympics any day.

P.S. Jackson has "gone for a run" four times since the actual event. He laces up his shoes, puts on a jacket, and heads to the park and back.




Brenda said...

This post and pictures is the cutest thing ever-I promise! Wow! I am so wishing I could have been there to cheer! I am proud of all of you!

Holly said...

maybe Ill get him a shark speedo for Christmas! good job champ!

Amy said...

OMG!!! This is awesome! Forget having my own kids, I want JACKSON AND LILLY!!!

Melissa said...

Awwww, thats adorable!!
Im new to this and was going back and forth on whether or not to post my kids pics but after reading your decision has been made! POST! I mean, my kids & hubby are the reason for the blog so why not.
Anyway...just wanted to say the pictures are great! And I truly enjoyed reading it!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

Just found your blog! Love it :)