September 2017 Column Winner

Aiming for the splits
Kindra Coffman, Tri-County Herald

I walked in the living room Tuesday evening to find my dear husband Jarred standing behind our sectional couch with his foot propped up on the back of the couch.
He was also closely watching a timer on his phone.
Since he appeared to be in some level of discomfort I asked why he was doing it.
Apparently he’s set a new goal. He intends to eventually be able to do the splits.
That seems a rather odd and ambitious goal for a man over thirty, but ok. I chose to be supportive and not laugh.
That is, until I realized his entire motivation for this endeavor is simply to show our niece, Chloe, that he could do it.
Chloe is the same age as our daughter Aaliyah and the two girls have been nearly inseparable since they were infants. We see her often.
Some time ago Chloe began gymnastics, and she’s good. We’re proud of her.
She was telling us about her new skills one day when Jarred jokingly smarted something off to her.
I don’t remember what exactly he said. He and Chloe tend to playfully argue fairly often, so it wasn’t out of the ordinary.
Chloe is funny, sassy and always has a comeback for a smart remark.
She looked Jarred in the eye, slid down into perfect splits and grinned. “Oh, yeah? Well you can’t do this,” she told him smugly.
She was right and he didn’t have much of a response to that. She won their playful verbal sparring match that day.
Now every time we see Chloe she grins at Jarred and reminds him that he can’t do the splits and she can. No matter the topic of conversation, Chloe finds a way to mention the splits.
It’s become an ongoing game.
Apparently Jarred has decided now to take it to a new level.
He is determined to stretch in ever-increasing increments and cope with sore muscles for an indefinite amount of time, working to learn a new skill that has little to no use in everyday life.
This is all so he can surprise Chloe someday by dropping down into splits in front of her.
I will never underestimate the motivating power of a sassy 10-year old girl.

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