Reilly wasn't about to let 106 measley degrees stop her from raking in the ribbons today, though I prayed all day she'd change her mind. As expected the turn out was considerably smaller than usual, but as luck would have it, everyone who did show up was a 9-10 year old girl, so Reilly still had to fight for her wins.
As always, high jump, followed by what is rapidly becoming a customary jaunt to the long jump, while she waits for her heat. She never returns happy from the long jump because, well, despite jumping two times her own length, she is the runt of the litter and can't hide her disdain for her fourth place ribbon, even when I point out that the other 62 kids over there got Participation ribbons.
Anyway, today there was a new girl, and she exuded fierceness from 100 yards away. She was in a formal looking practically neoprene suit with fancy shoes and she meant business. She cleared the pole with ease (though so did Reilly) and it became clear that she was our main contender.
When it came time to race, said superstar ran the 1,500 alone, while Reilly readied herself for the more popular races.
Superstar's mom happened to lean against our risers and I couldn't help but ask her about her daughter's irrefutable excellence. She explained that she has been participating in triathlons since she was five, and since losing her dad to prostate cancer two months ago, she has taken up the cause nationwide, sponsored and trained by Lance Armstrong. She participates here simply to exercise, and her successes around the country have enabled her to donate literally millions of dollars to the American Cancer Society. Her name is Winter. (I had to ask her siblings' names--all boys--Magnum, Yukon, and Ruger.) I liked them already. Mom was explaining that Winter was a born competitor, often racing against adults, and she has a thriving website and basically all kinds of spectacular shit going on. And yet, despite her dedication to athleticism, she's a regular kid, who eats Fruity Pebbles (I asked) and she and Reilly talked about how Reilly shaves her legs while Winter does not. We explained Rei's natural aptitude for movement, speed, stamina, etc., citing her mind-blowing knack for rock climbing as an example. Dawn got excited and said they go to the same gym we do, and invited Reilly to join on Sundays. Man, that means I have to become a belayer in the next 2.5 seconds. But we were really excited. Somehow I can't see Reilly's life dream being an Ironman, as is Winter's, but Dawn was quick to point out that when she's not appearing on Rachael Ray's show (that's right), she likes to be a regular kid.
Winter is amazing. She has her own clothing line "Team Winter," speaks in front of hundreds of physicians, while presenting them with checks she earned one stroke, pedal, and step at a time, all to raise awareness for the cancer that took her dad. I look forward to getting to know them better. This is Winter:
But this is the girl who took home 1st place in the race. Again:
I'm just sayin. Reilly, you are my superstar!
Check out Winter: