My first experience with high school track was in 1974, my sophomore year in high school. A couple dozens girls met every day on the track at Pompano Beach High School to form the school’s first girls’ track team. We were an enthusiastic group, even if our coach was reluctant. Coach Brewer was accustomed to blowing his whistle and shouting commands to boys on the varsity football team so he struggled to figure out what to do with a bunch of girls. (Although at the end of the year banquet he remarked that coaching girls was a piece of cake…no arguments and dedicated to both practice and meets.)
We practiced daily and competed rather poorly. But only the second week of the season, my role changed from athlete to volunteer after I was hit by a car and found myself sporting a cast on my left arm. This early training has been used for more than a dozen years. Far longer than the two years I called myself a runner.
From 1999-2008, while we had daughters on the Forest High track team, John and I were team drivers, cheerleaders, snack providers, timers, announcer, scorekeeper, presenters of awards and clerk of the course.
These duties continued a few more years after all our daughters graduated, and then after a short hiatus, we’re back. John at the starting line while I enjoy the warmth of the press box.
It’s February. It’s cold. Hundreds of high school athletes are competing in the first meet of the year. It’s track season.
As a freshman at Forest High School in 1998, Meghan was anxious to get involved with everything high school had to offer. Instead of waiting until the second semester to try out for the softball team, she decided run cross country to stay in shape.
Meghan had run a few 5k races so she knew a little bit about the sport, but what she didn’t know was that she would fall in love with running. In fact, after earning a varsity letter that fall, she never did try out for softball. Instead, she joined the track team the following January and began running year round.
TBT Lesson #69: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Like the old Alka-Seltzer commercials said, “try it, you’ll like it”.
A recent comment regarding the post 3 Down; 11 To Go got me thinking.
The comment: What did you do in 1999? referring to our development of a list of 13 things to accomplish in ’13 and then a repeat this year of 14 to accomplish in ’14.
So what did we do in ’99? With three daughters, ages 15, 12, and 9, I know exactly what we did. We attended, watched, drove, coached, kept score, and worked in the concession stand for 99 athletic events.
Soccer x 2 athletes
Softball x 3 athletes
Track and Cross Country x 1 athlete
Add in numerous 5K races including the Reindeer Run, Catfish 5K, and Turkey Trot (where Sarah brought home the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner) and the number certainly exceeds 99 events.
Travel to such exotic destinations as Shocker Park, the Big Sun Youth Soccer League fields, Jervey Gant, and Lake Weir High School, with occasional trips to Port Orange, Sanford High School, and Lecanto filled much of our time. Hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage, and chicken sandwiches served in foil wrappers sufficed as dinner. The life of a busy family.