“Sprinting” by Gavin Nephew

The thing about moms is that they know you better than you. They know if you’ll like something, or if you wont. Moms always know what is best for you, even if you don’t like what it is. When they make you do something you don't want to do, you usually love it after the first try. At least that is what happens to me.

3!.... 2!.... 1!.... Go! I shot down the fresh snow of the Weston Ski Track  like a rocket, pushing my legs left, right, left, right, as hard and fast as I could.

I switched from the V2 alternate technique to V2 as I headed up the hill. My skis crested the summit, and I switched back to V2 alt. I tilted this way, then that. Uh oh, flashed through my head as I tilted to the right. Thud. I toppled over onto the cold, gleaming, snow. It seemed impossible to get up. The more I tried, the more discouraged I felt and the more my equipment got tangled up. Oh no, I’m going to be the last one to finish. This is so humiliating! I should have never signed up for this race in the first place! How did my Mom talk me into this! I should have refused! I’m making a bad impression on my team, Switzerland. I hate my mom!! Urgh!!! Then I gave up as my eyes started to tear up.

My savior came right at that moment. It was my assistant coach. He picked me up by the scruff of my jacket like a mother cat does to its kits, and deposited me back on the snow. “Get going!” he ordered.

I skied around the corner, performing a tight turn, not remembering how to do a fast one. I actually did remember, but just wasn’t in the spirit to try to get ahead of the racers who were almost at the finish line while I was only halfway through the race course. I wasn't in the spirit to do anything, really. Well, maybe just to have some cake.

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My eyes were tearing up and my head drooped towards the ground. The freezing wind whipped against my unprotected face, and the cold dry air burned my lungs as I slowly glided down the hill. The hill I was going down was the same hill that I had come up, just on the the other side of a row of bright orange cones. To the right of me was the road that led to the parking lot and to the the left stood a couple of majestic pine trees across the other side of the course. I am not going to finish this race. That will show my Mom to not sign me up to things I don’t want to do! I thought to myself.

Just as I was skiing to the side and drop out, a little familiar voice called out, “Goo Gavinn!!!” I can’t quit in front of my little brother! I have to be his role model. With my brother watching, I sped to the finish line as fast as my skis could take me.

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After I finished, I skied around, trying to find my Mom, fuming the whole way. Once I saw my mom and she saw me, I started to cry. This is the worst day of my life, I thought to myself. I am not, not doing the second race, no matter what Mom says. I am not being humiliated again.

I skied over to my Mom and just melted. “I am not doing the second race!” I yelled to my mom.

 “Yes you are,” she replied calmly. “Now go ski over to the starting line.”

 “But-”

 “No buts. They only record your best time, so the first race won't bring down your score. It won't even count! You have nothing to worry about.”

I could tell that was the end of the conversation. 

I hate my Mom! What is the point of doing a sprint anyway? To have fun? Well, I'm not having any fun at all. I am not doing the second race. No way, not ever.

All those thoughts streamed through my head as I went over to take my position next to all the other racers on the starting line.

3!... 2!... 1!...Go! the bizarre announcer dressed in an Elsa costume, screeched. My skis zoomed down the short decline, almost against my will. They glided up the hill, and around the bend, while I was hoping, hoping not to fall. As I zoomed down the hill, I realized something. I was actually  having fun! As I powered up the slight hill and through the finish line, my whole family cheered. A smile started to form on my face, and I didn’t feel mad at my Mom anymore.

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When the EMBK employee posted the race results on the back of a shed, my Mom and I waited in line to see them. The wind snuck into my thin jacket and for the first time in the whole race, I was cold. My thin racing jacket isn't made to keep you warm; it just has to give mobility to the racer wearing it. But I don't think that was why I was cold.

 My Mom & little brother

My Mom & little brother

Once my mom and I were close enough, we looked at my race results. To my great surprise, they weren’t half bad! And they had improved a lot from the first race to the second. When the announcer called the racers in my age group to come get their awards, I only got a participation ribbon and a package of M&Ms, but that was fine with me. Who doesn’t like free candy (especially a large pack of M&Ms)?

As I walked down the paved path with my Mom towards the parking lot and got ready to leave, I realized, for the first time, that moms know their kids better than their kids know themselves. Well, in my case at least.

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About the author: Gavin Nephew

You may have heard the names Stephanie & Ben Nephew before, they are Gavin’s parents. Ben is a member of the MPF RNR Trail Running team and a coach here at MPF. Gavin is a 10 year old adventurer with already years of experience out on the trails. Here are just a few more (of many) adventures that Gavin has been on, click here.