Tuesday, October 02, 2007

PL'ing is a good thing...

This past Saturday I traveled with some friends to the Tampa area for a high school cross country meet. When I was in school (you'll notice I did NOT say, "when I ran cross country") our runners used to have dual meets on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. They competed all the time, it seemed. (Good for yearbook photographers like me -- we could wait for a sunny afternoon with little homework to get those riveting shots of people running past. Not so good for runners who competed more that trained once the season began.) There were dozens of schools there -- Varsity and JV, boys and girls. Apparently this is how they do it here in Florida and I think it's brilliant.

My friends' two kids both run for Timber Creek Timber Wolves.

Ellen is a freshman and runs JV -- her team described their race as "we were all just a little off today." They usually compete in the morning and this was a late afternoon meet in the Florida heat and humidity. We were all just a little off when they ran at 4:45pm. Personally I thought they looked pretty strong and competed well. And really, any one who can run over 3 miles and still smile gets my vote.

David, the first born, is captain of the boys' varsity team but he didn't run on Saturday. He was at Yale in a debate tournament. (I'm still trying to get my head around that. I did learn that it's a good thing when your kid is in debate and sends a text message saying "WE BROKE." It means they made it through the first elimination -- in the top half, I think.)

Anyhow, we watched the other races with Timber Creek students competing and at a cross country meet you don't sit on a bench and watch -- you move from place to place on the course and watch then run past. One mile mark. Two mile mark. Finish line.

(Oh, we did sit for a short spell while other races were being run and that ended in a rain storm. I'll not give you those details -- but if you'd have seen us, you would have laughed.)

Both the girls' and boys' varsity teams won their races. It was quite extraordinary to watch. All seven of the runners on the girls' team finished in the first 35 runners. (Yes, I was counting.) And the boys all PL'd (I think that means they got their personal low time -- or I know that's what it means, I just think that's what the letters stand for. "Personal Low.")

So, I have a few things to say about all of this:
  1. There may be a lot of crazy people who do stupid, bad stuff and get in the news for it and it can feel like "kids these days" are so bad. There are kids who are pretty cool and who do great things -- like encourage team mates and compete hard and receive praise with a fair mix of satisfaction and humility.
  2. Yes, sometimes I do miss teaching.
  3. Go Wolves!

1 comment:

  1. Ellen is by far one of my favorite people of the teenage variety! I'm slightly jealous that you've gotten to see her compete now. I think I shall have to remedy this situation.