Sunday, May 20, 2012

Fortuitous Timing

It’s been sort of unfair to A because we haven’t been able to make it to her track games because of time conflicts coupled with the fact that she rides the team bus. Plus her meets are long and we don’t know when her actual event is, and thus far N has had lacrosse games at the same time. The last meet, however, things worked out so that I got to see her fun, and was it ever cool.

I was prepared to take N to his game and A understands, especially since as the younger team, they don’t really compete that much. In fact, this was their final meet, even though the team will run until the end of the month. N asked mom if she could come and see him play, so we shifted plans, which like everything in our lives, took some juggling.

I took N to his game and got him all set up, then left when it began and headed over to A’s meet. Luckily it was close by. R was going to stop by the game after work and catch the second half, then bring him home. A would take the bus home after the meet, and then I’d pick her up at the school. That way she could hang with her teammates.

I got there about two hours into the contest, they go at least three hours. I spotted A and she told me they ran the 4X100 and came in 4th out of 6 teams. Not too shabby. The next event was the 4X200, which I was in time to catch. A was running with the other 5th graders, and there were five teams running. They mixed the ages up, but A’s team was all 5th graders, the young ones. There were two other relay teams from her school, along with two other schools. I know, it’s confusing. KS was there and, knowing the drill, explained to me where we should stand to get maximum viewing of our own respective kids. Her daughter ES is on A’s relay team and is her buddy.

From the opening gun, one of the opposing school was way ahead. The girl came out like a rocket, and nobody was even close, but once she handed the baton over, her teammates were much slower, and the rest of the field caught up. A’s team was the slowest from the start, and they were way back. The lead team eventually got passed up by every team except for A’s team, and it was looking like they would come in 5th place. A was the anchor, which is where you usually put your fastest person to finish the race.

When A got the baton, they were in last place, and she was about 50 feet behind the other team. I figured they did a good job just going out and competing, so it didn’t matter what place they came in. However, A really turned on the afterburners and took off running. At about the 100 yard mark she caught up with the last girl and passed her. I was doing cartwheels, I was so excited. It was so fun to watch. By the finish line she was at least 30 feet in front, if not more. She looked so good out there, her form has really fallen into place. Her older teammates took 1st and 2nd, and her team took 4th. What a great race.

Afterward I told her what a great job she did, and I think deep down she knew it. She worked really hard. In a funny twist, the girl she finished ahead of is a homeschooler who we’ve met on several occasions. She came up to me and asked if A was at the meet, and I almost said, “Are you kidding me? She just beat you.” It just goes to show you, when they’re running, they’re so focused, the don’t know what’s going on around them.

What was really cool was walking to the car, her older teammates called out to her and told her that she ran a great race, which is huge when you’re a kid. In fact, one of the team’s stars yelled out what a nice job she did. It made my day. Now the original plan was for A to ride the bus home, but since the meet was close, most of the parents came and the kids went home with them. In light of this, A decided to get a ride with me.

On the way home, A called N on the cell and they chatted about their respective contests. N won his game, so they were both excited. Now A’s season is over, it was very short, but at least she got a taste for track, and she likes it. We’ll look forward to next year.

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Monte Isom for the pic.

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