Tonight the All Blacks play the old foe South Africa.
And this week I have had a very small taste of what it might be like to be the All Black’s coach Steve Hansen.
This week I have had to deal with last minute injury, nerves, tears and the fear of the unknown.
This week my wife Kate and I have had to prepare, not for one but for two Tests. A tough ask in any circumstance.
The New Zealand Association of Modern Dance (NZAMD) and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) don’t muck around when it comes to examinations, and preparing our daughter Maddie for these was an exercise in extreme Man Management (or young girl management – which to me seems far harder!)
I jest of course, because all of the hard work had already been done by Maddie herself and her amazing tutor Lucy Moignard, Principal of A Star Academy of the Arts .
Here’s how our week panned out.
Sunday – Last minute run through’s. Ballet gear and bag sorted. Early to bed as the NZAMD exam was being held in the morning. I observed, nothing much for me to do here.
Monday – Up early, usual dis-agreement s between Kate and Maddie about Make-up, hair, costumes etc. I observed, nothing much for me to do here, apart from go to work, sit at my desk and wait for news.
News came through – Maddie had done well – I was pleased. I smiled, all my hard work had been worth it. Job done.
Tuesday – Maddie had an inter-school sports tournament where she played Hockey and Ki o’ rahi. Unfortunately she sustained a foot injury which threw the rest of the week into uncertainty and chaos. After 35 years playing rugby I knew exactly what to do. RICE! Rest, Ice (frozen chips – Kate’s idea) Compression and Elevation. Pain, tears, and an early night.
Wednesday – Maddie hobbling about. Maddie watches from the sidelines at the Ballet practice for Fridays RAD exam.
Thursday – Maddie still hobbling about. Maddie excused from Ballet practice.
Friday – Up early, usual dis-agreement s between Kate and Maddie about Make-up, hair, costume etc. I observed, nothing much for me to do here apart from go to work, sit at my desk and wait for news.
News came through. Maddie mucked up her first dance. Tears, devastation and despair.
Lucy Moignard being a seasoned professional told Maddie to pick herself up and dust herself off and to go back in and nail the next three dances. Maddie did – big smiles, laughter and an amazing feeling of satisfaction. Maddie told me she felt the same way too!
Apart from the hours upon hours of practice at A Star and home. Apart from the hours upon hours of listening to the same music. Apart from all the hard work, the tears and the injuries, there is one thing that really stands out to me.
I asked Maddie after her exams how she felt about it all? She told me she loved it, she loved to dance, loved hanging with her mates, loved the costumes and learning.
I asked her again, what was the one thing that she liked about it most?
It’s fun she answered, it’s really good fun.
Job done Lucy
Job done Kate
I smiled, nothing much for me to do here. Steve H and I have more in common than you might think.