Today I went and watched some of the Canadian Olympic Track and Field Trials with my kids. My husband’s cousin, Brianne Theisen of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, is competing in heptathlon and will very likely represent Canada at the 2012 games in London later this summer. Having never really followed track and field before, hanging out at a track all day was a new experience for me. And while watching potential Olympians in some very form-fitting outfits definitely made me feel very self-conscious about my distinct lack of fitness these days and about the weight I’ve gained since I injured my IT band and my trainer moved away 2 years ago (why yes, it is about time I found someone new!), it’s also very inspiring and motivating. If Jessica Zelinka‘s rock-hard abs and amazing deltoids won’t motivate you to lift some weights, I don’t know what will.
Both Brianne and Jessica did well today. Jessica is currently in first place, while Brianne is in second. I’m curious to see how they do at the Olympics, having seen them compete live.
I also very briefly met Ashton Eaton, Brianne’s fiance, who was there watching the event. He signed autographs for my kids and seemed very nice, but was obviously trying to keep the attention on Brianne and not take anything away from her pre-Olympic experience. FYI – I did not indulge my inner fangirl and stalk him in order to have him sign my copy of Runner’s World (though I was tempted…). I was speaking with Brianne’s mom and she asked Ashton if he would come and say hi to my kids.
As interesting as attending the trials was for me, I really hope that this day sticks with my kids, because when I read about parents who refer to pop and reality TV stars being role models for their kids, I have to admit that I roll my eyes a little, because I tend to think that most of those “role models” tend to be good at publicity (or have good agents) more than actually having talent or skill. I would much rather my kids look up to athletes like Brianne, Jessica, and Ashton, who, sure, likely have more athletic talent than the average person, but who have had to work hard for thousands of hours over years to get to where they are.
Tomorrow the kids and I are going back for the last three events: discus, javelin, and the 1500. When we get home, I may just print off a few pictures from the trials as extra motivation to stick with my workouts. I did start lifting weights again as of last week, but am still sidelined when it comes to running, so I think it’s probably time to just suck it up and add some biking into my workout schedule along with the strength training.
Will you be watching the Olympics this summer? What are your favourite events to watch?
Update: Brianne will be running the 800, not the 1500. Oops!