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Just the beginning...

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My dad always says, "race update, I need a race update." Of course, my dad is one of the world's longest-standing and biggest NASCAR, drag, funny car, BMX, you name it, race fan.

Here's the race update:
The week prior to Bakersfield, Nicholas had been suffering from some stomach issues and we thought they had gone away. He had gone to another track, similar in layout to the Bakersfield track, and instead of riding, well, let's just say he spent most of his night getting know the inside of a port-a-potty. The weekend rolled by and again, thought he was fine, just ate something that didn't agree with him. Well, despite our thoughts, Nicholas was still sick; something we discovered the day after we got home from Bakersfield and I got a call from his school...
But first, race update!

Greg, Nick, Zoey and I left for the US Nationals in Bakersfield, California on a Thursday. Nick rode fantastic all weekend and had some serious competition from not only kids out of state, but from his best friend. We spent three days camping in our motorhome with our friends from home and away. The kids rode bikes, scooters, played tag, water guns, silly string... We BBQ's, laughed, stayed up late and laughed some more. We did all this after the races, though. Knowing how sensitive Nicholas is to the stressors around him, Greg and I were great, and strict, about bringing him in for meals, naps, quiet time and bedtime. Nick was focused and determined, winning every qualifying moto, but missing the ever coveted "Main Event". Then Greg and I regressed as parents, something I am not proud of but am adult enough to acknowledge because it is a human trait. When he failed to win Saturday's races, we were visibly disappointed and Nick was mad. He was so mad that he threw his bike down and stormed off, marching (helmet and gloves still on) to the motorhome. He didn't need to hear that he didn't move his line, block his line, went to high in a turn, etc. He knew all that and after riding, and playing, in the heat all day, he was emotionally and physically wrecked by race time. What he needed to hear was that he rode great, moto or main, and that he had a brand new day ahead of him and that no matter what, we were proud of him. What he actually heard was some barks and rough tones from his coach and myself. Then, when I caught up to him in the motorhome, I did something I had never done before. I looked at my son, told him I was sorry his day didn't end the way he wanted and then we hugged. We just sat, cried and hugged. An hour later he was in bed, with his dad, reading and over it all. Despite the temporary disappointment, the reality is, just making the main event at a national means you are a top rider. Period.

As parents, we like to say that we have our children's best interests at heart, that we love and support them in all they do, that they are always winners and that winning isn't everything. I know I like feeling this way. But it just isn't the reality. It's easy to think that way when your kid's on top, winning everything, and it's humbling when you see your phenominal child have a bad day and make rookie mistakes. But it is a life-changing day when you make a mistake as a parent, say the wrong thing, then recognize it and pick up the pieces of the wreckage, dump them and move forward. Sunday Greg and I did just that, what we've been working towards the past four months - teamwork as parents. Nick won his mains on Sunday and we left Bakersfield feeling great.

So, here we are, at the end of another wicked national weekend. We had a blast, to sum it up, but the weeks following were pretty rocky. Yes, Nick came home sick and when I picked him up from school early and took him to the doctor, we found out that he had been suffering from an intestinal infection. The doctor was amazed he could even ride; that he wasn't buckled over in pain from stomach cramps. My tough boy, enduring stomach cramps and pain just to race! So he started his antibiotics and we lived life normally,going to school, homework, practice at the track, birthday parties, swimming and preparing for his next national event, the Spring Nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As they say, life goes on, and it did. The New Mexico national wasn't a huge one but it showed some of the best West Coast riders that the ABA and BMX community produce; especially when it came to the 6 Expert class, Nick's class. Not only did Nick have to race his best friend from Arizona, a kid who trains as hard as him and is regularly challenging Nick, but a handful of other tough, fast kids. And although the weekend ended short for him and he didn't get to race his mains, he came home, healed finally, and we are looking forward to a week full of end-of-the-year activities and TONS of trips in the motorhome. We have so much fun stuff planned around racing and BMX that our family can ony benefit from the memories we will make. I'm so excited for what there is to come, a feeling that comes with the end of every race. There is always another.

This is just the beginning. The beginning of sporting events, crazy last weeks of school, illness, schedule conflicts, schedule mishaps, so on and so on. It is also the beginning of the most amazing, beautiful time in my life. These are the things that memories are made of. The stuff we look back on with our teenagers and young adult children and laugh about. The past six weeks are what make life worth living, the stuff that keeps me grounded and the mother, wife, friend, coach and woman I want to be.

Thanks for reading, God Bless and enjoy the Summer sporting events to come!

Allison "Crazy Mom"