Race Spectator Decision Tree

Due to the number of races Mike attends (seems like there’s one every other weekend), he asks me quite a lot whether or not I would like to come spectate. One might think, “Wait? You don’t always go and support him?” Well, no I do not–even though the races typically have great energy, they often are in fun locations, and I get to see friends covered in mud or shocked with electrical volts. What could be better?! Still, each time Mike asks “Do you want to go spectate?,” I find myself following a very well-worn path of decision making in my head. It starts with one simple question:

decision tree 1

Because, how do I say this–I’m not a morning person. AND, if I’m leaving before 5 am, then so is my daughter because my babysitter may love Sydney, but she’s not crazy (and getting here at 3 or 4 in the morning is just crazy making!) So, if Mike’s leaving after 5 am in the morning, I’m then able to contemplate the next important question:

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One might say that asking myself “Do I want to spectate the race?” should be the first question. I mean, why do something you don’t want to do? Well, obviously, if I want to attend, I go and cheer him on like a crazy fool. I bring Sydney and we make friends with other spouses or partners spectating, and waiting for their muddy beloved to come limping across that finish line. But, if I don’t want to go, or maybe I’m on the fence, then what? The decision to go isn’t always black and white! So, I evaluate what else I may have on that day:

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If I have legitimate plans (and by legitimate, I mean shuttling between birthday parties and gymnastics practice), I stay home and maybe, if I’m lucky, get to schedule a kid-free lunch date. But, if the plans include doing just household chores, well, I’m pretty much looking for any excuse not to do those. And, if I can score some brownie points by going, I’m more than happy to spectate and then redeem those brownie points at a later time–preferably for a child-free afternoon at the spa with my girlfriends. (Ok, now before you get all on me about always going to the spa, stop. I’m dying of laughter as I type because the reality doesn’t match my eventual hope of becoming  “a lady who spas.” I mean, we all need to have dreams, right?)

Sometimes I get lucky and Mike’s races will be up north so that the possibility of a outlet mall or winery exists. If this is the case, and I can bring Sydney, I grab my pom-poms, pack the snack and toy bag, and high-tail it to the car.

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Now, what happens when I don’t have any spectacular plans, but the weather shows signs of it being a nice day and the possibility exists that Sydney and I *could* go to the beach (I say could, because in reality, I never take Sydney to the beach–so much sand in much too many cracks, combined with me unable to relax for fear of tidal waves, beach nudity, or shark attacks, just equals we go the park down the street instead. But, sure, the beach could happen one day.)  If this is the situation, and I’m on the fence, I typically end up asking myself:

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Truthfully, in the end I miss most of Mike’s races. They’re usually out of state, or just far enough away that I’d need to pack enough snacks and toys and clothes that we might as well be going out of state. And, the races are early. Like, definitely leaving before 5 am early. (The what I do with myself and Sydney when Mike’s gone is a post for another day.) But, I’m proud to say that I don’t miss the important races–and he’s recruited me twice now to pit for him at the 24 hr World’s Toughest Mudder. Still need to cash in those brownie points from those though. Hm. Maybe a weekend at the spa isn’t so out of the question!