Alofa and I have always encouraged our children to embrace physical and mental hardship by participating in all kinds of athletic competitions and exploring the Great Outdoors. We have also championed taking on academic challenges. These challenges came with membership of the Moller Family!
The theme has always been about becoming a better and more resilient person. Comfort is excellent, but too much breeds weakness. Being excessively "safe" and wrapping people, especially our children, in cottonwool, does no good for anyone. Doing so produces soft, vulnerable cowards and not resilient heroes. Despite societal pressures to play safe, I think Alofa and I have done well. Our four children, all adults now, are resilient and athletic, show no fear, they are adventurous, and life is good for them.
The New Zealand Cyclocross (CX) Championships were held outside Upper Hutt last weekend. Nine extended family members participated, some in the kiddies races, some in the "fun" all-comers, and others in the elite races. Alofa even joined in and got down and dirty. I'm so proud of them all, of their willingness to put themselves "on the line".
If you don't know what CX is, it is a cross-country race carrying a bike now and then. It is hard, wet, cold and muddy stuff. Although I'm equally proud of the rest of my family's efforts on the day, the efforts of my daughters, Myra and Mary-Ann deserve special mention. Both Myra and Mary-Ann are time-limited mothers of young children, so competing at the elite level of a sport like cycling is all the more remarkable, let alone making the podium. They are fabulous role models for all.
I attribute much of their success down to a lifetime of putting themselves on the line, such that their baselines of physical capacities and ability to endure hardship are extraordinarily high.
Myra was 3rd over the line with Mary-Ann 4th. However, because Myra was representing the remote island of Rakahanga in the Cook Islands, she was not eligible for the New Zealand Championships, so Mary-Ann became officially 3rd. This was the best result ever of a terrific dual effort by my girls.
So, how did I do? Well, I won the 60-plus but it was not an easy win. I had to work very hard from the beginning to get a comfortable lead over the 2nd rider and then to hold it. In the end, it was a good win. That keeps an unbeaten record over eight years, so I am very happy. Perhaps what was even more satisfying, is I came 7th behind the best 50 year-olds.