Today as part of my daughter's 'Student of the Week' program - I was her 'special' talent or hobby. Really, her special talent is running or playing Barbie or drawing stick figures or leaving her clothes all over the house - but we figured for this talk, it would be a talk about triathlon and running.
I took public speaking courses and even won prizes - usually falling 2nd behind Mitt Romney's son and my friend Matt. If you finish second to the son of a Presidential candidate and former Governor of Mass, then you're still pretty solid. So I figured I'd be ok with a room full of 5 year olds. Wrong.
My idea: introduce triathlon - and then focus on running because every kid knows what running is. Show off the fancy bike, a wetsuit, some medals, my shoe collection - figuring they'd like to see all the different KINDS of shoes I have, and the following up with some nice freebies from Profile Design and Under Armour - water bottles, stickers and tattoos. Lastly, I'd share how Sada also runs much better than she bikes, that she can run a mile and how she finished the Timberman 70.3 race with me - the highlight of my entire triathlon career. She really is awesome at running.
I introduced the sport of triathlon - asked a few questions and got fewer answers.
One kid saw the water bottles.
Question: what are those for?
Answer: for you afterwards - I also have tattoos and stickers for you.
Small eruption of 5 year olds excited about something free!
Back on track....
Here's my bike, it's fancy, blah, blah, blah.... anyone have any questions about the bike:
Question: why does it have 4 handlebars?
Answer: I demo braking and shifting on a TT bike.
Question: how many stickers do we get?
Answer: one of each (I really left a big pile for them)
Question: why does it look funny? (the bike)
Answer: (Not mentioning the kids 2 missing front teeth nor their striped pants and polka-dot top) Well, it's for racing fast, I've gone over 40mph!
Lots of wow and then comments like "my dad goes fast in the car".
Question: Do we get to keep the water bottles?
Now I pull out the running shoes.
I show trail shoes, cross country racing flats, motion control shoes, 3.9oz racing flats, 7oz racing flats, neutral shoes, shoes made for barefoot wear, etc...
A spider happens to crawl out from a shoe (I don't wear them all) and I sort of scream like a little girl and squish it - immediately getting a response...
Question: what was that?
Answer: a spider
Question: can I see it?
Answer: no, it's a bit flat now.
Question: can I see it?
Answer: no, it's all smashed and flat now
Question: can I see the smashed spider
Answer: no, now here's a shoe that has a really rugged bottom...etc... phew, escaped that one.
Question: Do you have any other colors of shoes?
Answer: yes, but I only brought 7 different shoes, most colors are probably represented here.
Then I got into Kindergartener mode:
Did you know that Sada's name was on these shoes (Nike ID)? WOW - let me see.. (show class) and that her mom hates these shoes because they're the ugliest thing she's ever seen? More wows and giggles. (see orange shoes in above photo).
What happens if you don't wear socks with sneakers I ask: Blisters (excellent answer)..... what else? I ask.... "smelly feet!" YES! I went on to tell them the shoes I was wearing smell like Doritos inside. They do.
Then, the highlight of the whole thing: my medals.
These were mostly just finishing medals, you know the ones people wear for sometimes hours after an event. They didn't care a lick what they were for - but they were gold, silver and bronze medals. They loved these things. Sada got a finishing medal after the Timberman race and she is almost a year later - still reminding me that she beat me running and the it's her medal. If only I had brought in my 30 lb track champion trophy from car racing I won a few years ago. I'd be close to Easter bunny hero status. But that stays in the garage and it is like 30lbs and I wasn't about to carry it anywhere.
Here's Sada finishing the Timberman 70.3 with me. The new policy for these and Ironman races will no longer allow people to finish with their kids. I'm glad we were able to do this.
So at the end of the whole thing - kids got a few mins each to come over and look at stuff more closely - they all wanted to try on the medals and of course - get their water bottles, stickers and tattoos.