As I sit here, typing away at my desk with the window open and a cool summer breeze hitting me, I get that nostalgic feeling…What is it exactly? In the early morning quiet of a typically bustling, busy house, I can put my finger exactly on what it is: Summer. It’s that feeling of knowing I have the entire day ahead of me, with my kids, to do whatever we want. Do we swim in the backyard or head to the bike trail that runs along the majestic American River and have a picnic lunch on the water? Do we call our friends and meet at the park for some play time or simply stay home and relax, working on puzzles, paintings and other childlike works of art? Whatever it is we do decide on though, we do it together and make memories. But the one thing that gets me most excited about Summer now, isn’t just the freedom to do whatever I feel like with my kids but what the mix of Summer and BMX bring to our household and lives. I’m not just talking about racing a lot, here, there, everywhere; I’m talking about what has become one of our most coveted and favored BMX events all year long, the Summer Nationals.
For many families Summer means many of the same things: work weeks full of schedules, lunch meetings, appointments, running here and there…. Then there is the big Summer event: camping trip, family reunion, Disneyland. For my family it’s all of these wrapped up in one awesome event at our home track. The Summer Nationals is one of the best and biggest events for my family. For one, it’s at our home track and another, it means weeks of pre-National craziness that includes early morning Saturday’s working at the track, late afternoon Sundays (I mean LATE, after the races in the heat!) helping out, planning, cleaning, chaos, utter chaos. It’s the one time of year that my family truly loves to camp, six miles from home, with all our friends locally and our friends from So Cal, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, etc. Sure, we end up doing a lot more than normal at a National, running to the store a lot, helping with 50/50, paperwork, etc. but mostly it is just the most awesome feeling to have this event at home.
If you are lucky enough to get a National at your home track, you know what I’m talking about.
Serene beauty of 33 oak tree filled acres
Prime camping, deserving of the folks who put hard work in and long hours prepping the turns for railment by Olympians, Pros and little kids alike.
Whether gate 1 or 8, knowing exactly what line to take and having the confidence that no one, no matter how fast, is going to beat you on your home track.
It means rolling the red carpet out for visitors, newbies, Bakersfield folks only five months into the sport who have already seen the ugliness that comes with the animosity of their kid coming from out of nowhere to win, and win big. Inviting these new folks into our lives, our day-to-day home away from home, and showing them that they are welcome and that we are privileged to host them.
Being with family, that rarely gets to see our kids, let alone what they love to do and their greatness and bravery on the track: live not on sponsor house, face book or my space videos.
BBQ’s with Redman as the chief food critic.
Olympic medalists and pros from all over the world sharing the same gate my kid practices on week after week.
The local buzz in small town newspapers, promoting our event.
The glory of the win at home.
The Summer Nationals are here and by that I mean, our vacation is here. I know there will be more to come, that this Summer will go in the books with the previous ones, looked back on as Winter slowly seeps by. However, I slip those thoughts away with a crooked smile and let myself just get excited for what’s to come. After the choas at home dies down its off to Utah, then Tucson, Reno, So Cal and, oh yeah, Disneyland. It’s a crazy, busy Summer and I just feel so blessed that we are able to do this because they do grow up, too fast. Then, I get excited again, knowing that next Summer will be the opportunity to do new things all over again… My point is, us moms, excuse me, parents, guardians, supporters, etc., spend so mucf of our already hectic, vacation packed Summer months, at sporting events; but if we take a step back and look at it a different way then really, Summer can be a serious of "mini" vacations; another opporunity to pull out the BBQ (or coleman), roast some marshmallows, recap stories of the day's events. It will also aleviate some of the pressures to perform and anxiety to win, and allow your little athlete to relax.
So, I hope my next story ends with a happy ending, because I am a hopeless-optimist but also because I’m the proud mother of a very hard working athlete. Mostly, just because one of the best things as a parent, is seeing your child do something they love, then do it so well.
Happy sporting this Summer!