Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sparkle Pony Grows Up

I nick-named my older daughter, somewhat unfairly, as Sparkle Pony.  At Burning Man a "sparkle pony" is someone who needs a lot of attention to thrive, and this does not describe my Sparkle Pony who is in many ways an easy and undemanding child but it does describe her fondness for being served chocolate chip pancakes in the morning.

She loves soccer and has played for a number of years but it is only in the last two or so that she has become serious about refining her skills and training.  There would be opportunities for her to bicycle to a game but she would always refuse saying that the pedaling tired her out for the game and that afterwards she was too tired to pedal home.  When she was smaller Contraption Captain put a pillow on the rack of his Tour Easy and pedaled her home --- very Sparkle Pony --- although she'd would at least contribute to the effort a little by rubbing his shoulders which he enjoyed.  Still, Sparkle Pony grew and the time came when she just couldn't be carried to and from her games on the back of a bicycle.  Instead she went in a car-pool or was driven by car.

Then, some months ago, a bit flipped inside Sparkle Pony.  Outwardly she looked the same but inwardly she had changed.  We didn't notice until she had the opportunity to have a private lesson with her beloved coach, but there was no option to use the car and the field was five miles away up a steep hill.  Without any noticeable hesitation she opted to bicycle to the field, train for sixty 1:1 minutes with a tough coach, and then bicycle home.

She loved it.

Since then she has been biking to every game within reach and if our bike routes were more Dutch and less American (aka safer) she'd be bicycling to every practice.  I am very proud of her.  The Sparkle Pony is growing up and going forward I will refer to her as Pelé because she has the sturdy and uncompromising heart of an athlete.


  1. How beautiful. My 10-year-old daughter is off today track cycling. I couldn't be more proud.