It's a long article but I recommend. It's fascinating and causes one to wonder: Do these girls really want to run or are they running mainly to please/fulfill their father's dreams and ambitions?
|Photo credit: New York Times|
Look how small these girls are! They barely reach the others' elbows. And Heather, the youngest, pins stuffed animals on her shirt before each race. She also cries during most races.
Granted, they are talented runners. The oldest clocked a 1:28 half marathon. Yet the father's attitude is unsettling.
The article followed the pair through a rugged and steep trail race in Utah. Kaytlynn was expected to place in the top 5 female finishers (adult finishers, I must stress). She stubbed her toe the day before and it was black and blue on race day. She ran anyways and place 30th out of 75 women, darned good for a 12-year-old.
Her father didn't seem to think so. Here is what he was quoted as saying in the car on the ride home.
“You quit on us today,” he said.
“No, I didn’t,” she responded.
“Yes, you did. A lot of people run with a stubbed toe, even a broken toe. They put it aside and do their best. Did you do your best?”
“Your time shows you certainly didn’t.”
Deep down she believed he was right, and she kept her eyes on her phone.
|Heather, 10, after a race. Photo credit: New York Times.|
Jesus, she's 12. She should be out playing with friends, not racing every weekend and especially not racing with a stubbed toe. I've been there, done that and it hurts.
At the same time, I admire these girls. It sounded as if they really love to run, really love to feel their bodies move, and really love to compete.
They also compete in tris and both have bikes worth about $5,500, each. At ages 12 and 10. If that doesn't set up the expectation to succeed at all costs not sure what does.
I think the article's title sums it up best, "Too Fast, Too Soon?"
Let me know what you think, if you have a chance. It's long yet fascinating read.