Category Archives: Athletic Endeavors

Sleep-away camp

Ready for Horseback Riding at Camp

It was a very big deal for us (as parents) to make the decision to send Isabella to sleep-away camp. Last summer, she went for two weeks with a girlfriend from school (read: built-in safety net — that’s good for the child, but mostly the parents).When we went to pick her up to come home to attend a family function, she asked to go back for another two weeks. We obliged. This summer we wanted a camp with more academics. We found one, but the only option was 7 weeks. Yikes! Isabella’s response: “Seven weeks is a long time.” Yes, it is.

It felt like diving into water that you know will be frigid, but it’s a hot, humid day. If you want to cool off, you have to do it. If we wanted Isabella to get a more academic experience (preventing regression), while encouraging independence, we had to go for the 9-week sleep-away camp. It has been three weeks and today is Isabella’s 15th birthday. It’s certainly not were I expected her to be at 15 when she was born or even when she was 5. Here she is nevertheless — loving it, learning, and getting those wings that she (just like every child) needs.

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Bike riding

Having grown up in the great borough of Brooklyn, I rode my bike everywhere. Unless I was walking or taking the subway. I was in a lot of bike accidents. None that involved cars. Many involved stairs or water. You got a bike, a better bike, not a car, upon high school graduation. Mine was a Schwinn Suburban in a sort of electric blue. But it wasn’t exactly a Suburban. The guy at the bike store made some changes to the bike that made it suitable for my type of riding, which required a helmet. Who knew from helmets back then? I don’t think anyone even manufactured them except for the Tour de France. My wish for Isabella is that she would get on her beautiful bike that her grandfather bought her for her thirteenth birthday. I purchased a new bike for myself, too. Having owned a stingray prior to the Scwhinn and a mountain bike after, I went for a crusiser with a wicker basket. I have taken Isabella down to the waterfront to ride. No cars, no people, no dogs. She refused to get on the bike, walking it around. What kind of bribes can I offer for her to become a bike rider?

Swimming, really

Another new development. Somewhat astounding for our 13-year-old. Perhaps, not so for other 13-year-olds, unless the child has an anxiety disorder. Swimming. I mean running into the surf in the Atlantic Ocean and loving it! Really loving it. What this means is that the sensory defensiveness is gone. It’s not about being afraid once and now being brave. It’s about clinically not being able to tolerate something. Bike riding is not about balancing. It’s about staying on the bicycle long enough to say that you’re riding a bike. It’s about enjoying the waves crashing on  your body. And how about jumping off the lifeguard stand? Could it be the new drink that I make Isabella every morning — that she drinks (mostly) without complaining and sometimes requests? Working at the celluar level, again.