A funny thing happens in an athlete's career when you have kids. You go from caring more about your athletic goals to those of your kids. As your children grow, their sports, school and social activities start to consume your life. While you want to go to all their games, practices, meetings, and events, you also feel your athletic goals slipping away. Coming from someone who has transitioned from being all consumed by bike racing, training, and going to races every weekend from March through September, this can be a hard pill to swallow. Even though you scale back your athletic ambitions, it's still in your system and you need to let it out.
Compromise is the key along with flexibility. The first step is identifying what races you like or are important to you. From those, pick a handful, 2-5, that are your favorite races, or present a new challenge. Mark those on your calendar and circle them in red. Those are YOUR days. While missing certain other events may hurt a little, knowing you have a race or event coming up softens the blow.
Now, you may miss your son's or daughter's event or practice that day, but you need to keep yourself in the game for yourself and for them. Doing so not only fulfills your base competitive desires, but sets an example for your children. While your kids may know you used to run or bike competitively, having them see you do it is 100 times better. It shows them the joy of competition and the fruit of all your hard work. They won't care if you win or place in your age group, they will be proud of you for being out there trying your best, as you should be too. It doesn't matter if you used to be a pro or local hotshot, you need to step back and enjoy it.
For yourself and for them.
"My dad was my biggest hero. They haven't made a poster of him yet" Derek Jeter