Mark Terry

Friday, September 17, 2010

Something Remarkable

September 17, 2010
Yesterday I went to my youngest son's first cross-country meet. For middle school it's 2 miles. He did quite well, especially considering they'd only been training for about 3 weeks. (During time trials earlier this week he made it on the varsity team, hitting 12th of 12. His time yesterday was 18:18, which is quite respectable. I think he finished about 128 out of about 250. And I think he's just getting started).

Anyway, it was an invitational, so there were a dozen schools or so there, and it being middle school, the ages probably ranged from about 10 or 11 to maybe 13 or 14. They ran several different races--the first was 6th grade boys, then 6th grade girls. Then varsity boys, then varsity girls. Then the second groupings, then everybody else ran as a group.

What was remarkable to me was the final group, which in general are not very strong runners, and there are a lot of stragglers. But the final, final, final girl, who was lagging way behind, who was going to be the last place of the slowest of all the runners, was joined in the last couple hundred yards by her entire team, who ran with her as a group, encouraging her and accompanying her across the finish line.

I find that remarkable. And it gives me hope.


Anonymous Jim said...

I think running is a marvelous sport. My eldest and youngest kids did track and cross-country in junior and senior high school (the middle kid will sometimes run for fun/exercise he is not interested in it as a sport) and it was my observation that I saw a lot of strong & energetic competition combined with a lot of good fellowship and good sportsmanship

Although I did not take up running as a sport until my eldest child persuaded me to start running because of his love for the sport, I quickly also became enamored with running. More than a quarter century later, I'm still doing it. (Oh, okay, following surgery for a torn Achilles tendon and being in my sixties, I am more of a jogger than a runner these days... but I still have hopes.) In fact, my daughter and I will be joining several thousand people this coming Sunday in the CVS 5K in Providence.

I think your son has picked a good sport.

9:14 AM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

That made me smile. Who says there's anything wrong with today's youth don't know the right youths! lol

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

Running. I miss it. One of the best activities I ever got involved with. It reminds me a bit of writing in that there is a winner of each race, but you don't win by defeating others but by improving yourself. A few years ago I went to the county cross country championships when my nephew was on the team. Man, it was amazing. some of those kids would come staggering across the finish and fall over. There was hardly room at the finish for people to lie on the grass. And as you say team mates who had finished would run back along the course to cheer on the stragglers. I just found it inspiring to see all these young people absolutely going all out, giving everything they had, to just do as well as they could. Our society seems so lazy sometimes. And people succeed at the expense of others rather than by their own efforts. But in writing, you really have to do it yourself. You can't get published just by undercutting someone else or any of the other dodges people use. You pretty much have to deliver something publishable. You can't fake it.

12:09 PM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Wow. What a beautiful thing to have witnessed.

1:30 PM  

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