A few months ago the High School Activity Director asked me if I would be interested in helping to coach the JV track team. I was certainly interested, but during baseball season with Tyler and Troy, I have no spare time. I enjoy watching them play ball and knew that I would feel very guilty by helping to coach the team instead of watching the boys.
I did offer to work at a few meets. The first one on my schedule was the Big Lake Invitational (varsity), which was held yesterday.
It rained all day yesterday; I was certain the meet would be cancelled, but the AD assured me that he would only call it off if there were thunder and lightening, which there wasn't. It was a cold, windy, downpour of a rain..soaking..all day long.
I left work, picked up Troy from school, picked up Tyler from baseball (indoor because of the rain) practice and came home to change in layers of rain clothing. It was a torrential downpour .. and cold. I honestly was not looking forward to standing out in the rain for 4 hours. Not running or anything; just standing there. Yuck.
The meet began at 4 and went until 8. My job was to time the 4th place runner for each heat. I have NEVER attended a track meet. In high school I was out getting high and drunk, so never participated or ran a step and certainly didn't attend a meet. I didn't really know what to expect.
It was so much fun to watch these young runners. To watch the determination on their face, to watch the camaraderie they share with their teammates, to watch the respect they hold for their coaches. To see the pride they felt within themselves for finishing the heat. It was incredible.
It was something I completely missed out on when I was young.
There is a female runner on the Big Lake team who won the 800 and the mile. I asked another timer why she wasn't running the two mile and learned that they can only run 2 'long distance' heats per event. She was awesome. She was confident, lean, respectful and ran like a gazelle. It will be fun to talk with her at school on Monday.
I couldn't help think that some of these runners will someday be running ultra's. They have learned early to discipline themselves with tough workouts and have developed a passion for running.
The rain didn't bother me as I though it would. I just enjoyed watching these young runners.