Winning isn't everything — unless you are like me

February 27, 2017

Ayla Wise (left) with her teammates after winning the freestyle relay.

SORRY but I’m going to have a parental brag moment.

You see, when my girls excel at something, I make the most of it. Because I never quite know how long it might last.

So anyhoo, Ayla recently did really well in her school swimming carnival.

Not that I pushed her; but she may have felt the fiercely competitive vibes I was sending out.

Plus, I may have gone a little overboard as her personal cheerleader.

It’s just an automatic reaction for me to jump up and down and scream as loudly as I can during any type of competitive sport.

‘‘Go Ayla! Come on Ayla! Faster Ayla!’’

I sounded like a wild banshee.

The truth is I’m just a deliriously insane woman who likes to win.

However, I would never say anything like that to Ayla.

Instead, the internal, external conversation went like this.

Internal voice: Win at all costs!

External voice: Just do your best sweetie.

Ayla: Will you be proud of me if I come second, mum?

Internal voice: Second place is just the first place loser!

External voice: I’m proud of you no matter what.

Well, maybe not that bad, but it feels good to win.

During her 50m backstroke race, Ayla was winning by a nose the whole way.

So you can imagine what I looked like, cheering her on like a monkey on speed the whole way down the lane.

However, about 5m before the finish, Ayla decides to slow down and look around to see how she’s going and bam! She’s pipped at the post!

I had to use every ounce of self-control to not lose my shit, jump up and down and cry like a spoilt sore loser.

All the parents had been staring at me skipping down the lane like a lunatic, so they were all waiting for some kind of response from me.

So, I swallowed hard and put on my brightest happy face.

Internal voice: Oh my god, you were right there! You had it in the bag!

External voice: Congratulations darling! I’m so proud of you.

Internal voice: Our Olympic dream is over!

External voice: Red ribbons are better than blue anyway.

I probably overcompensated, but I think she bought it.

Seriously though, of course I was proud of her.

She’s always been a fish and would live in the water if she could, so to see her do so well at something she loves is a great feeling.

So when Ayla and her teammates smashed the freestyle relay by half a pool length, there was no containing my excitement.

Yeah, I may have got a few strange glances from the parents and teachers, but at least I won’t be known for lacking passion.

Plus, the Olympic dream may still be alive.

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