Soon, it was time to go to the staging area. The guns could now be heard and were frequent. She knew they were coming and that for her a whistle would be used. The rules allow for the use of a whistle upon request. This is quite the sore spot for me. There are so many athletes who have sensory issues and the guns are enough to keep them from competing in the first place. A mom in front of me said that their team practiced with two pieces of wood being slammed together - we practice with starter guns, but that's no assurance that on a particular day she won't have a meltdown.
Callie was now clasping her ear protectors firmly to her head and her body firmly against mine. We sat down in our assigned seat - Callie in my lap - not so easy to do anymore. I tried everything to distract her - sang songs, kissed her arms and cheeks reassured her again that the gun would not be used for her race.
Finally it was her turn. The miracle was that for at least 10 minutes before her race the guns had ceased. Thank you Lord for that. She was really excited to run. She loves to run. Are you getting the picture? The volunteer mentioned the gun and Callie jumped - I reassured her that the whistle would be used. I looked over and the starter man had the gun in hand. Oh, no, no, no I firmly said - no gun - whistle for Callie. The lady with the list of races checked her list questioning me and finally agreed that a whistle start was noted. I thought for a minute they were going to see a meltdown far surpassing Callie's last one if they didn't blow that darn whistle and put the gun away - not from Callie but from this Mama Bear.
At last all was settled and they were lined up ready to go. She took her mark. The whistle blew and a second before it was blown she took off. I thought they would stop the race as it was clearly a false start. As I was expecting the race to be stopped I just stood there. Clearly there was no stopping the race and I can see that Callie isn't stopping and no one is stopping her. She's running out of the track area and I am running as fast as I can to catch up to her. There must have been at least 10-15 volunteers at the end of her 100M, but no one stopped her. I ran as quickly as possible, but she's really fast. Thankfully, she stopped and I could reach her.
Now I was worried that she would be disqualified and one person was surprised they didn't have a restart and another said if it didn't change the outcome they'd just let it go. Oh, by the way, she came in first - way ahead of the pack. Again my Mama Bear was ready to meltdown if she didn't get the medal she clearly deserved because of her early start. But, no worries - she did get her gold medal and she was so proud - but not as proud as I was I'm sure. Callie shows us time and time again what an overcomer she is. That's my girl!
Christian had the running long jump, which was probably a bad choice on my part. It takes a lot of coordination to run, but not over the line before jumping. He scratched all three of his jumps. He took a participation ribbon, but he was fine with that.
Chad had the standing long jump. Mark watched him and he was pretty sure they were measuring in millimeters. He has huge finesse swinging his arms back and forth and back and forth and finally jumping like an inch and falling forward and rolling around like he's making sand angels. It's a hoot. For some crazy reason - has something to do with his division - he took the gold.
We've decided that Callie has had enough of the sensory overload and we will skip her running long jump tomorrow. I'd rather end on a positive note for her and continue to praise her for making through her run without a meltdown and staying "calm, cool and collected".