Smells like (team spirit)

Sometimes I’m amazed at how clueless I am. (No comments from the peanut gallery please – this is about self-realization, not your quick-witted ability to snark at will.) I coach the kids speed skating class at our local rink – the mighty Rink Rabbits Inline Speed Club for Kids. During our practices, there’s often so much going on around me – kids being kids, parents being kids, people not paying attention to rink traffic rules, someone falling down, someone asking for water, someone asking to go to the bathroom…sometimes there’s so much going on I fail to see some of the most important stuff happening right under my nose. It’s like trying to focus on a cornstalk getting spun up in a twister cloud of debris. Good luck focusing on anything for more than a second! But last night, on the way home, Speed Demon shared a glimpse of something that made me feel like a million bucks, and it had absolutely nothing to do with my favorite subject – ME!

Speed Demon and π (pi) showing the coach the meaning of teamwork.

Speed Demon and π (that’s the mathematical symbol for pi, which is cooler than a nickname like “approx. 3.14” and might someday be a cool tattoo for the kid…I’m sure her Dad will love reading that. But I digress,) Speed Demon and π are pretty equal in terms of their ability and speed. Both have been skating for a while now, and while π has been speed skating a bit longer than Speed Demon, she’s not quite hitting the times that Speed Demon can these days.

As it turns out, one of the big reasons that Speed Demon is hitting better times is that, unbeknown to me, π has been helping Speed Demon work on her speed. Sometimes it’s in the open warm-ups – that 20-30 minutes where everyone is getting their skates on before class, which to me is nothing more than an exercise in herding cats – in the pace line when we do active warm-ups, or in the cool down times at the end of class.  Apparently, being close in age and since they’re friends, they’ve been looking out for each other.

Last night during the cool-downs, I noticed they were doing their own drill. Something they’d made up on their own. When I asked Speed Demon why she was having a hard time keeping up with π in what I thought were 200m races, she told me that they were doing a drill to help π get back up to speed. It was a simple chasing drill with a very specific goal for speed skating, but it was so much more than that. It was one friend helping another be the best she can be. A little payout of Good Karma, and it warmed my heart to hear it.

Here we are now - entertain us...Going fast, low, to the left now, yeah!

Speed Demon told me, “She’s helped me and I appreciate it. I want to return the favor and help her kick butt too!” In this class that’s pretty well dominated by boys, these two have a team spirit that’s unmatched. When they’re out there racing against each other, they both give it all they’ve got. But at the end of that race they’re always congratulating each other, regardless of how they placed. They’re being there for each other and cheering each other on, even as they’re trying to steal that cone and that line, each from the other. Pushing each other to be the best they can be, and show us all that everyone gains when you’re a good sport. That’s team work in inline speed skating, Rink Rabbits style. Good job girls!

As luck would have it, the pics in this post were taken last night, when this was all happening. Look in their eyes – we actually caught the heart of their friendship in these pictures. The shot at top is the drill they were doing, and the second shot is the net result: SBFF (Skating Best Friends Forever.)

Girls rule, boys drool, indeed.

5/11/10 Training: Spent about 30 minutes doing “super-secret” workout stuff. Spent an hour and a half tooling around the rink with the Rink Rabbits on the CadoMotus Pro 110’s I’m test driving. The MPC Road Wars caused a bit of a stir with the boys. “They’re light red, NOT PINK!” Shut up and skate boys…

One response to “Smells like (team spirit)

  1. Pingback: May 14th 2010- Roller & Inline Speed Skating News – Speed Skate World- By Peter Doucet- Online Since 1999

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