Baz and her epic colleagues at The Well HQ are great friends to Non-Perfect dad. Their wisdom, drive and conviction is leading to massive changes for women in sport. Her letter to her children is a treat for all sporting parent parents…enjoy.
To Taryn and Cooper,
You’re both really little right now and I can’t help fast forwarding your lives to what your futures may hold – and then my next thought is, don’t f##k it up!
I want to give you every opportunity I can without overdoing it and right now I am lost as to how to do that.
I can remember being 5 & 7 like you and watching the Olympics, knowing that that’s what I wanted to do. I just loved sport. I spent hours in the garden making up ‘floor-routines,’ hitting tennis balls against the wall and practicing handstands.
I was desperate to have supportive parents who were there for me and my sport all the time – watching school matches, taking me to training days and after school clubs – but they just weren’t into it and had to work long hours. I had to organise most things myself; catching lifts with friends, making packed lunches and getting on buses and trains.
It taught me a lot and it was just something that I had to do, to do what I loved – play sport. It meant that my whole sporting career was driven by me. There was no pressure to carry on and I still can’t work out whether this was genius or flawed?
This approach meant that I worked it out for myself, eventually finding the sport for me. It meant that I could play the long game – I didn’t burn out too young and still love being active today.
With more guidance and support earlier on, would I have made that last spot on the Olympic team instead of being dropped a month before the games? Would I have left athletics sooner and not developed RED-S?
Who knows – hindsight is a wonderful thing which I don’t have the luxury of with your lives.
So for now I’m backing off, because for me the rewards v consequences of going all in do not weigh in the formers favour.
But it’s a fine beam to balance on and I will be wobbling along for the next 20 years with you both, always being there, more than you may think.