My 10-year-old son has become a better athlete than me. OK, I’ll admit that I’ve never been much of an athlete – but I didn’t expect him to pass me so quickly. Why do I think my son is a better athlete? Here are three examples:
He’s a better skier
My son can ski faster. He can ski steeper stuff. He has less trouble in powder. He can ski the bumps. On our last two ski trips I have the feeling that I’m holding him back. And when we ski together, I can actually hear my son thinking “when can I ditch dad so I can ski the trails I want to ski.” And it happened so quickly. A few years ago he was skiing between my legs. He was falling on the green circle rope tow. He used to ski trails like “Paddy Wagon” and “Scooter.” Now he’s flying down “The Rapids,” “KT-22,” “Chute-75” and all kinds of trails that sound scary. A few weeks ago, while skiing in California he actually said to me “if you can’t keep up, I’ll meet you at the lift.” Thanks a lot.
He’s a better runner
This has been coming on for a few years. Once my son joined a running club at school he’s been hooked. He’s a great (OK, maybe I’m bragging) long distance runner. And on any given day, he can run longer and faster than me. Now keep in mind, I’ve run three marathons. I can run. But he can run better. I’ve begun riding my bike through our neighborhood while he runs. That way I can keep up. I can also help pace him. But basically, it’s because I can’t keep up his pace any more.
He’s almost a black belt in Tae Kwon Do
My son has been taking TKD since he was 5 years old. In May, he’ll be taking his black belt test. The information he has stored in his head would make my head spin. He’s very confident about the test. He knows he has a lot of work to do, but feels ready to tackle the challenge. I don’t think I could ever dedicate the time to getting a black belt. But he has. I’m proud of his achievement. It’s amazing to watch.
And yet, there are still a few sports where I can beat him.
I can kick his butt in baseball
I’m sure if I played a game on one-on-one baseball with my son, I could still kick his but. I’d strike him out every time, and he’d walk me every time.
I’m taking him down in basketball
My temporary height advantage would be too much to overcome. (I say temporary, because in about 4 years, I think he’ll be as tall as me, if not taller.)
I’d lap him in swimming
Ah, the only spot where I excelled in my youth. My son would not be able to keep up with me in the pool. But again, that is temporary. A few more years at summer camp, and I can see this advantage ending.
I can still bench press more than him
Hopefully, I’m still stronger than my 10-year-old.
My golf swing is better
As my son said yesterday while watching the Masters “my best score ever is a triple bogey.” I’ve actually ‘eagled’ a whole or two in my golf career. I think I can take him on the golf course for at least 5 or 6 years. But that’s only because he’s too busy beating me in other stuff.
At the end of the day, I’m very proud of my son’s skiing, running and tae kwon do abilities. Although I have to admit, it does motivate me to get into better shape. Yes, I’ll always be competitive. And very soon, he’ll be encouraging me versus the other way around. Oh, and I know it’s only a matter of time until he can kick my butt in everything. Except chess. I’ll always beat him in chess.