Friday, June 09, 2017

Khaleeq On Hard Work and Achievements

It is not always easy being different. And it is obviously extremely difficult when you have two overachieving siblings who amass medals and trophies like bees collecting nectar. They have, like a lot! I kid you not! My number two came to me a couple of times already stating a matter-of-factly that he does not get many medals nor trophies. Not like Khadra or Khaleeda in their various co-curricular activities. On occasion, he would get upset that he "never wins anything". In a more extreme incidence, he feels so demotivated and dejected that he would tell me that I should just put him up in an orphanage somewhere because he does not fit to be in our family due to his lack of achievements. :( He gets over dramatic sometimes, but when this is how it makes him feel, it really makes me feel sad too. 

We have had numerous talks on achievements with Khaleeq - be it about being just a part of something i.e. participating, finishing something difficult and about winning. How it is equally important to show good sportsmanship, about being proud on beating your own limitations and doing better than your last performance, rather than fixated on just winning the top prize. We also talked about how achievements, more often than not, comes with sheer hard work. Just look at how many hours a week Khaleeda puts in for her rhythmic gymnastics, cheer, ballet and tarian practices. It gets even more intense nearing a competition or a show. So, in order to reap the glory, he really needs to work hard. He said he was up for the challenge and so, the quest for something that he could actually participate in, enjoy doing and maybe travel for begins.

From friends' recommendations we found the livemore event series and I went ahead and signed him up for all the remaining Aquathlon and Triathlon events for this year. His first event was an aquathlon (200m swimming and 2km running) in Alice Smith School a couple of weeks ago. Specifically for this, he attended running training with Coach Lini (twice a week) and swimming training with Coach Nur (once a week). At this point, our focus is more on practicing the correct way to run and building stamina - awakening all the sleepy muscles that hasn't very much to do all this while (he does have some balancing and coordination challenges too) and correcting his swim techniques. To prepare for the cycling portion of the triathlon, Azrul had taken the lead to teach him how to ride a bike and he successfully cycled on his own within 2 sessions. Yeayyy!!! We also came as an observer in an earlier triathlon event at Nexus International and attended the pre-competition workshop to familiarise with the transition and whole race setup. So, basically we were ready. Insya Allah. 

So the day finally came for his first aquathlon event and we were there bright and early and feeling nervous. Well, I had butterflies in my tummy. hihihihihi The aim was not yet to be in the middle or leading pack for the Under15 boys category. It was more to set his base timing and more importantly to finish and finish strong! To earn his first aquathlon finisher medal. Just looking at him with his bib number stamped his arms made me smile. Wouldn't it make you too? I was just already so proud of him. Can't believe we were actually doing this. :)

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His swimming portion was steady and very consistent. Wasn't in the leading nor the middle pack. Whilst the others raced on in their speedy front crawls, Khaleeq took his time doing 200m worth   of breaststroke, not even stopping for awhile. When he got tired, he did a back crawl or a dog paddle then back to his trusted breast stroke. By the time most of the participants come out of the pool, he had around 75m to go. And when he was out of the pool, the last person still had about 50m of swimming to complete. He was actually looking back and wanted to wait for the boy to finish before we urged him on. 
Father and son, side by side.

Transition was OK and he started with his running portion next. After the first KM or so, Azrul joined him on the road en route to the tracks to finish up his first ever Aquathlon. We were so, so proud of him already for taking on this challenge. Even more so for finishing so strong. He remembered the tips Coach Lini told him for running - for keeping his posture, running tall and swinging his hands and that last dash was just priceless.   

He darn well earned his finisher medal. Alhamdulillah. I was proudest of him for staying on to cheer for that last boy till the finishing line.  

Sweet taste of success
Job well done, Khaleeq. Here's looking forward to many, many more!


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