Finding Passion- Sailing

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Sailing has been around for my crew for many, many years.  Each child started going to a sailing camp when he/she was 8. Sawyer has let sailing go.  She did not love it.  Sims and Parks seriously love the sport.  They both started around age 8 and still sail.  They sail all-year-round!  Yep, even in the cold!

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They both started on dinghies or small sailboats and have worked their way up to bigger boats.  Parks still likes the dinghies better and sticks to those.  Sims will sail the dinghies and has found a new love for keelboats.

I love watching both of them out on the water.  I am amazed by the confidence they each have while out in a boat.  There is so much more to sailing than getting into a boat and moving the rudder.  They have to set up the boats, read the wind and the weather, be aware of their competitors, know how to fix what they brake, know how to protest, know how to clean up, know how to care for sails, and so much more (in fact, Sims just informed me about how much math he uses when he plots points on a chart).  I look forward to watching them both grow in the sport!

Finding Passion-Skateboarding

 

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I recently thought about what my kids are doing now.  Two are still rock climbing as their passion in addition to a couple of other activities which I will post on later.  Parks has a new passion that he has been working on for about two years now-skateboarding.  While he was biking a while back, he began playing with and making fingerboards and fingerboard parks.  Believe it or not, this is where he began his skateboarding journey.  He started off learning the tricks and the physics behind the tricks.  He learned how to hit specific features.

Then last year, he received a nickleboard for his birthday.  Since that time, he has gotten a park board and a longboard that slides.  He goes to the skatepark whenever he can.  When he cannot get to the skatepark, he has set up features in the yard complete with a rail, a quarter pipe and blocks of wood to slide over.  He spends time practicing and perfecting his skills.  Sims took him to the skatepark last week and called me in amazement at how good Parks has gotten at his tricks.

Part of his school for this year included woodworking.  He decided to make a longboard using kit from Roarockit.  The kit was fantastic.  He and our neighbor worked on the board shape.  Then Parks worked on sanding it and getting the final shape.  Finally, he stained and painted the board.  Overall, the board turned out pretty awesome.  He is ready to tweak the foam and change some things up to make another one.

Finding Passion-Rock Climbing

A new passion has arisen among two of my three children-rock climbing.  The kids climbed at the US Whitewater Center many times when they were younger.  They always enjoyed the thrill of completing a route.  I remember the first time that Sims climbed with a person belaying him instead of using the autobelay.  I think this is when he became hooked.  He saved up and purchased his own harness, which he passed down to Sawyer and now Parks.

Fast foward a few years…Sims and Sawyer display amazing confidence in the climbing gym and on a rock face.  They both have learned how to read routes and to know how they climb.  They have learned so much about self-control, breathing, mindfulness, and how to work with what you have (short stature, tall stature, less flexibility, anxiety…).  They are learning about safety while climbing outdoors and how to help rescue fellow climbers.

They utilize many of our school lessons while climbing.  Sims researches outdoor climbing areas to learn about the rock type.  His geology lessons from last year are being put to use now.  He understands the importance of weather on the rock.  He discusses the physics behind the different types of gear used and why each is important.  He looks at the terrain to get to the rock faces.  They both train and show true commitment to the sport.  I look forward to watching them grow in this passion!

Finding Passion-Sewing Update

In February of 2016, I wrote about Sawyer’s passion for sewing.  In my mind then, I thought that she had a true talent with sewing-one that I never had.  Well over the past year and a half, she has amazed me even more.  She doesn’t sew all the time, and she is not obsessed with sewing.  However when she does begin working on a project, she works until it is complete.  I am impressed with her perseverance and passion.

Since my last post on her sewing, Sawyer has made huge strides in her abilities.  After a couple of camps and a lot of trial and error, she can sew-for real.  (Sewing is a skill that I imagine that I have, but I have NEVER been able to make anything that I would admit to.  Thus, I love that my daughter can do it.)  Sawyer can see a design in her head, play with the material, and make it.  Now, she is still on simple designs-I am not saying that she is a fashion genius by any means, but she has a gift that she surely did not get from me or her dad.  She can also fix her machine 90% of the time (if you do sew, you know this is a gift in and of itself.  The machine can have a mind of its own, and I have no idea on how it works.  Thankfully, Nick does, and he has taught her a lot).

 

Finding Passion-Biking

I am not sure why, but I have never thought of biking as one of my kids’ passions.  However, it is probably the longest passion that my boys have had.  Sims started biking well by the time he was three.  He used to ride his little 12 inch bike with me on my long runs.  Parks, of course being three years younger, started riding a bike as soon as he could get on one.  And neither of them has stopped since!  Sawyer rides too, but mainly to keep up with her brothers.

Finding Passion- Horseback Riding

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Lately in addition to hiking and playing outdoors, the kids have found another passion-horseback riding.  One request to ride a horse by Parks on his sixth birthday changed all of our lives.  Since that day three and half years ago, all three of the kids have started riding horses.

Riding and working with horses has so many benefits.  The horses require emotional work-you cannot bring hostility or frustration or arrogance to the barn and expect a good ride.  The horses require physical work-getting the horses from the pasture, grooming, tacking up, riding, getting all of the gear off, putting everything away, and taking the horse back to its pasture.  The horses require mental work-problem solving, reading the body language of the horses, environmental awareness, executive functioning.

I am a proud mama when I watch the kids at the barn.  They are kind and hard-working.  They have learned to set goals for themselves on the horses, and they have learned that some days they need a break and just want to ride to enjoy riding.  I have seen each child gain  resilience, empathy, confidence and strength at the barn.

This week, I had the privilege to watch them at their first horse show.  (I have a new respect for those who participate in shows on a regular basis-wow! that is a lot of work and a long day!!)  They were excited and nervous.  They have never ridden around so many horses before, and they rocked it.