"Mama? I want to join the Cross Country team."
I first heard her mutter those words about two years ago.
But two years ago, she wasn't old enough. And I guess I thought she'd forget about it after loving drama so much last year.
I drug myself through BodyBack awhile back, but I can't say I came out of that experience with a newfound love of running.
I hate running.
Yes, I feel accomplished when I manage to survive a few miles...but I still don't like it. Mostly I'm just happy to be alive when it's over.
"Well, you know the team practices BEFORE school sometimes, right? That means YOU have to WAKE UP earlier."
"I know. I can do that."
"And Mommy will need to be there to help you take care of diabetes."
"I know. But don't hang around me all the time, okay?"
"I'll try. But your sisters are going to have to stay with me. So they're going to be there too."
"Just keep them away from me. They can swing or something. Or send them to someone's house or something."
"Honey, I just don't know how running is going to affect your blood sugars. It makes me a little nervous, because it's new."
"Well, I'll be okay. I'll eat an extra snack."
"You're going to have to keep a couple gels on you when you're running. I know you prefer to clip your pump to your shorts, but you'll still have to wear a pump pack for this."
"Okay, but can you NOT put the vanilla in there? I like the other flavors better."
"Sure. I can do that. You know...most of the professional athletes with T1D that I know about use a CGM. I know you don't really like to wear Dex, but maybe we ought to put it on...at least until we see how things are going with your numbers?"
"Okay. Then I'll just keep Dex in my pump pack with my gels."
And *THAT* is when I knew she was serious about really wanting to do this.
She's not the most coordinated kid, but she does have long strong legs, and lean muscle mass all over. She's taller than average for her age. She likes to move, and she moves A LOT -- even if she does resemble Elaine dancing now and then. So...maybe running will be a good fit for her?
Time will tell.
I won't lie. I was resistant. I can't turn her lose to run a few miles a week without being on guard. I don't say that to sound like I'm being intentionally overbearing, but this is new territory for both of us, and we don't have any idea how competitive running is going to impact her blood sugars. We don't know how many uncovered carbs she'll need, or if we ought to tweak her basal rates to compensate. We don't know what her starting line jitters will look like, or how things will level out after she crosses the finish line.
We just don't know, because we've never climbed this mountain before. But, we've climbed other mountains. Experience reassures me that we'll figure it out, though it may take a little trial and error.
And....well....*I* am the one who needs to decide what we'll trial and how we'll fix the errors.
So...yeah. That means I need to hang around the field. I need to gather the data. I need to make sure we have everything packed --- and then a few extra, just in case. I need to figure out how to get her out of class and to the field on time, with a finger stick and a snack in between. I need to figure out how to get ALL THREE girls up and ready for school earlier on Wednesdays, since practice is before school on those days.
I can't just send her off on her bike an hour early, or drive by to pick her up from school an hour later. I can't have her catch a ride with a friend, or send her off to the meets early and show up later, closer to her race time.
Deciding to participate in Cross Country takes as much of a commitment on my end as it does hers.
It means her sisters need to understand and be patient while they're hanging around, waiting for the practices to finish.
It means her daddy will have to take a "shift report" when he's taking her to the Saturday morning meets, while I'm getting the other two to tumbling class.
I don't care if she's the last to cross that finish line.
It's going to take a team effort to get her there, and that will be VICTORIOUS in, and of, itself!