How far is too far?

It is with mixed emotions that I blog tonight. This is a subject that I have thought a lot about as a parent. Kids are remarkable. Some bloom early, some bloom late and some bloom early and just keep on blooming and getting better. I am attaching a link to recent article in Outside Magazine about the remarkable Welsch sisters of Alvin, Texas. We know these girls from the Youth TRI Circuit and they are phenomenal athletes and competitors. Fast doesn’t even begin to describe them. They are one in a million runners, sweet girls and by all accounts happy girls.

12-year-old Katylynn recently WON the 21K Xterra Trail Run in Waco. No doubt you could see the jaws dropping, as the adult competitors (including a couple of competitive Ironmen) witnessed her achievement. Katylynn 12 and her 10-year-old sister Heather have competed in over 100 events in the past 2 years including marathons, 1/2 marathons, triathlons, duathlons, trial runs, and fun runs. Keep in mind that Heather finished 3rd at the Waco Xterra Race and may catch big sister in the near future.

So I am sitting here, like many of you awestruck by the fact that these little girls can do so much so soon. I am also trying to understand where they go from here. Will they continue to love to run and compete? Is there a chance that they might just stop running at some point, just like Forest  Gump did?  As parents, we want to see our kids succeed and we want to see them win. The question for me is when does our wish to see them succeed overshadow what they want to do. But then again, no one says that Tiger Woods shouldn’t have started playing golf when he was 4 years old and you can bet that at some point, someone probably told Earl Woods that he should let Tiger play a little baseball or tennis. What if he had listened to them?

Some times I hold my kids back. Sometimes I push them. It’s hard to know exactly how far is too far.