Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pack Mentality

Apparently, at Bear's gym, her level and their families are regarded as a pack who will stick together no matter what.  My first instinct was, "So true!"  If by sticking together you mean sticking up for each other, supporting each other, helping each other strive for the best, etc.  then yes I think those sentiments are what make our girls such a great team.  In fact I have never personally been involved with such a TEAM.

Of course the word pack was used in the context of us making decisions as a group.  Anyone who knows me knows that I don't do that.  I'm flexible and have no problem compromising when necessary, but I do not make decisions just to follow the crowd... or do I?

Bear's team was offered an extra day of practice each week for the rest of the summer.  It would cost $75 total for 4 weeks.  Not too bad of a deal, but Bear has been struggling with burnout.  As much as I would like to get her into that damn gym to work on that stupid kip (more on that later), I know it isn't what is right for her right now.  From the beginning I said that to the "pack".  As it turns out most of them felt the same way, but what if they hadn't?  I know that if it turned out that most of them were planning on doing the extra day I would have seriously considered it even knowing that it was too much for Bear.

Why would I do that?  Why would I allow myself to be swayed into a decision that I know in my heart is the wrong one?  Hmmm... it may be pack mentality, or more accurately herd mentality.  I think of myself as immune to such nonsense, but I guess I am not as cool as I thought especially with regards to my kids.  I told myself that she should do it is because I didn't want her to fall behind the others.  If they were practicing the extra day and she was not, she might end up progressing slower than the rest... The truth is, I was really worried about her being left out.  If they are all together for the extra day and she was missing,  she would be less a member of the pack.

It really feels weird to be in this position.  I pride myself on not being a follower.  I chose to homeschool even though it sometimes makes me feel like an outsider.  I am not a Christian even though within the homeschool community many more opportunities would be open to me if I was.  Even some of my good friends do not understand how my decisions to let my kids do such time intensive competitive sports meshes with our homeschool philosophy, and so I feel somewhat judged.  In all these cases I feel no pressure to change my decisions because others don't agree with or understand them.  So why would I allow myself to be led in this case?

I think that her team is something very special.  I see such potential for greatness and it is hard to imagine not wanting to be a part of that.  Of course being a part of something great should not mean losing yourself... I'll keep working on that :-)

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