I’m a little blitzed and a lot proud.
The youngest just spent the last three days at Netball Central in Homebush, competing in the National Skipping Championships.
We pretty much decided Team Teal were going just for fun because they’d faced a very difficult decision at the start of the year: two of the girls turned 11 and had to move up to the next age category.
The head coach gave them a choice: split up and join teams in your own age groups or stay together and the 10-year-olds will have to go up against 13-year-olds in the older category.
They decided to stay together, despite the challenges it presented.
The first two days of the Nationals were pretty low key, there was nothing even approaching a medal-worthy performance.
Yesterday was their last chance in the 4 x freestyle and the single double dutch categories (a confusing title, but it means there’s just one person in the double dutch ropes at a time).
Skipping is a funny old sport, it’s incredibly easy to screw your routine up, no matter how much you’ve practiced. Ropes and feet get tangled constantly. You can see the competitors’ body language change as it happens, after the second mistake in a row their shoulders start to tense, they lose their mojo and it’s hard to get it back.
That’s what happened in the 4 x freestyle. Each Team Teal member made a few mistakes and their mojo flew out the window.
I went to the training area afterwards to watch them prepare for double dutch and it wasn’t a pretty sight. The mistakes were flowing thick and fast and tempers were fraying. I took a few action shots and made a quick exit.
Back in the main arena I told the parents not to have their hopes up for what lay ahead.
But then something rather magical happened. Team Teal hit the floor, they started nailing that routine and those shoulders relaxed.
The parents were so dazzled we forgot to hold our phones properly to video the performance, so I can’t even show it to you.
When the almost-perfect routine ended we erupted into cheers. It looked … dare we say it … medal-worthy.
We watched the rest of the category perform: ropes and feet got tangled; mojo was lost.
I had butterflies as I gave my daughter a good-luck hug and reluctantly went to work, making my ex promise to text me the moment the results were announced.
At around 2pm the results came through: GOLD!
My little 10-year-old is a National Single Double Dutch 11-13 years Champion!
I may have shed a tear at my desk, I was so proud, especially when my ex sent a picture of my gorgeous girl grinning her heart out on the gold podium.
Bless her little sporty socks.
How on earth did I grow her in my belly?
Here are some behind the scenes shots from that disaster rehearsal:
Song of the day: BlueJuice “Broken Leg”