Olympic Training

Having two kids has taught me to be better about accepting help.

At yesterday’s bike-race, Everett needed to nurse down to a nap at precisely the same moment when Sophie desperately needed to be taken to the bathroom and Ben was just about to need me to hand him his water-bottle as he came round the first lap in that 90-degree heat.

The lady sitting behind me volunteered to take Soph to the bathroom. She was an older women, visiting from Calgary, there to support her 19-year-old daughter who was training for a spot in the Canadian Olympic team. And so, in addition to supporting an Olympian, she helped Soph poop.

I put down Evs to get ready for the water-bottle hand-up. The bikers pass by at about 20 miles-per-hour, tossing down their empty bottles and reaching out for the fresh water bottle that needs to be held just so. Everett started to cry. The other folks in the crowd looked at me pityingly. “I can’t do a water-hand-up while holding a baby,” I announced apologetically. “The baby will be fine in a minute.”

“I can do the water hand-up for you,” three guys said, simultaneously. They were experts at this, it turned out, far better than me. One particularly generous guy passed water up to Ben for all three laps. Afterwards, Ben asked, “Who was that?”

“Helpful Man in Red Shirt,” I said. “I don’t know his name.”

It was Josh, it turns out. And mom-of-Olympian was Rosie. And I still don’t know the name of the other woman who decided to stand in as a sun-shade for Sophie, after Soph fell asleep on our picnic blanket, so I couldn’t keep moving it to stay in the shadows.

What I do know is that I love the generosity of bicycle-race audiences.

But I’m also slightly embarrassed to have been the cause of calling forth so much help. I may skip the next few bike-races, I think.



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