Gotta love womens gymnastics. And the competitors parents. Watching Aly Raismans mom and dad twist, turn, cringe and squirm during their daughters uneven parallel bar routine last Sunday was a highlight for me.
Ive never suffered through a full twisting double layout off parallel bars, but Ive been at bat with my son in the bottom of the ninth when his team is down by one. With my mouth dry, heart racing and palms sweating, I mentally crawl into his body, as I will him to swing, hit the ball and smash it out of the park.
And it works. Well, not all the time. But Im sure thats only because I didnt try hard enough. I didnt put enough brainpower and muscle into it. And if I had just clenched my fists tighter and not held back my swing, worried I might hit that mom in front of me on the bleachers he surely would have hit a home run.
The Raismans proved that. I thought their jumps, tucks, catches and releases were amazing. Mrs. Raisman was a perfect 10, pushing herself up off her seat, grabbing her husbands arm while twisting and pulling her legs up under her body. And Mr. Raisman was flawless in his ability to keep his feet together, elbows in, arms tight, while he stiffly moved through the dizzying routine. Only after he dismounted his seat did he grab his chest and wipe the sweat from his brow. Pure gold.
And they never forgot that its not enough to physically embody your child, you still have to be the parent and give them vocal support and encouragement. Mrs. Raisman brilliantly gave her daughter careful instruction on how to get the job done: Lets go! You got it! Catch it! Stick it!
I do that, too, at the field. Lets go! Catch it! Throw it! Hit it! Because you know that if you say it, hell do it. The audio from your voice will trigger his brain to react. Thats why you cant ever say anything bad about the ref. Remember that.
But watching the Raismans, I think I can do more. When my sons at bat, I need to turn more to my right on the bleachers to make sure his right arms back. I need to move my pocketbook so I can put my left foot forward so hes got plenty of stability. Maybe I should sit on the end of the bleacher so I can actually run once he hits it, so he can feel my speed. And I should wear jeans and slide, so he can feel me pulling him down, swiftly across the earth.
All the while, yelling Lets Go! You got it! Hit it! Tag it!
But never stick it. It sort of goes back to that ref thing.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/08/02/3427995/go-for-gold-in-parental-olympics.html#storylink=cpy