It’s time for track & field at my daughter’s school again. It’s a very short season, with tryouts beginning in gym class last week and full practices beginning this week. Regionals are around May 23, and then the District meet a couple of weeks after that.
Last year my daughter competed in Triple Jump, Long Jump, and participated in one of the relays. At the Regionals (her 2nd time there) she placed 2nd in the Triple Jump, scoring her first medal (a silver). Talk about pure joy! It wasn’t the gold she was aiming for, but it was a medal, to be sure.
Although she advanced to the District level, she did not place. Partly because it was her first time there, and the experience was quite overwhelming; partly because she was up against representatives from just about every school in the Thames Valley District School Board. I lost count of how many jumpers there were in her level but there was about 20, maybe more.
After the event, she was quite disheartened and debated not competing anymore. My wife and I supported her as best we could, relating some of our past experiences in whatever competitions we had been in, assuring her that she had done a tremendous job and that she should be proud of herself for what she had accomplished, and telling that we were very proud of her.
Eventually the sting seemed to go away, and life returned to normal.
Then, tryouts began this year, with a new twist: High Jump.
Now, it’s Triple Jump and High Jump for our daughter, and she is *excited*.
“Guess what? I fell today! Yeah. We were doing High Jump, and I ran, I jumped, and I fell on to my elbow. Well, not *on* my elbow, but by the time gym was done, my elbow looked like someone had rubbed it with the mat a lot. Which I guess is true, because I kept landing on that side.”
“Guess what? I had to demonstrate Triple Jump to the Grade 8’s today. Yeah. They came in to the class and asked if they could borrow me because none of them could remember how to do Triple Jump. Yeah.”
So, as we were walking around earlier this week, waiting for Mom to finish up with a tax client, she said, “Want to see me jump? Then you can practice taking pictures of me jumping for the meet.” Well, of course. So, we changed direction and headed over to the school.
She warmed up a bit, and I took up position a few feet past the end of the pit (trying to guesstimate my previous vantage point from the District meet, so I could work within those confines again) and played with the camera settings a bit. It was dusk, and she was going to be running, so I needed to either open the aperture more, up the ISO, or both. Plus I wanted continuous shooting to capture the action.
“I foot-faulted. I have to try again.” (Even just for the fun practice shots, she’s taking it seriously)
After a few more times from the end of the pit, I decided to move to the side to try to capture her running by. A few tweaks to the camera again, remind myself of the direction I need to twist the barrel to zoom, and “Go!”
[click][click][click][click] “Crap!” (Perversely, the Canon zoom twists opposite to the way you *want* to twist your hand in order to zoom in or out Or, it’s just me.)
“Let’s try again. Go!”
“Ok, let’s pack it up, it’s getting chilly.”
Although we did hang out for a bit longer, and I got a few more interesting shots (some of which you’ll be able to see in the RandomStuff album), I didn’t really know what I had captured that evening.
Later, as I was sifting through the 180+ images from that evening, I was taken by the one I’ve chosen for this post.
Sure, it’s blurry, and you can’t see who it is, but that’s what adds to it, I think. It could be anyone. The point is that it’s moving forward. Not stopping. Not giving up. But trying again. Correcting. And moving forward.
And that’s what I need to do.