On May 2nd, I will become one of you.

It’s true, I am joining the ranks of thousands of other parents who have watched, encouraged, coached, and helped their kids through one of our Tri 4 Schools events.  My daughter, Riley, will be participating in her first Tri 4 Schools event at next Saturday’s triathlon in Waunakee.  I was 28 weeks pregnant with her for our very first event in 2011, and now, at 3.5 years old, she is going to tri along with 500 other kids.

I am excited.  I can’t wait for her to benefit from something that takes up so much of her mommy’s time and energy, and see what it means to participate in the triathlons she hears so much about.  I can’t wait to see her smiling face wave to me at the swim start, laugh as she exits the pool in her ruffled swimsuit and puts on her unicorn bike helmet, and cry tears of joy as she crosses the finish line.

I am terrified. What if she panics in the water? What if she cries the whole time? What if she refuses to finish biking? What if she finishes and says “I didn’t like that!”  I’m trying not to fixate on my personal dream of her falling in love with a sport that has done so much for me, and set expectations that she might not like it.  I want to focus on rewarding her for trying, for being active and healthy, and doing something that gives back to her community.  I also want her to have fun and not worry about anything else.  Will I be able to do that in the moment?

I am optimistic.  The only way to find out is to get on the course and give it a “tri.”  Yes, I did just write that.  On May 2nd, we will focus on fun, and support our little triathlete as much as we can.