Monday, April 9, 2012

Journal Entry

There will not be any pics in this post. Only those derived from the word pictures that I can conjure up from today's events. I am too lazy to write them down in my journal and the tempation to put them on a post is too great.

So I called Coach Guilford. I know. Lame. Calling my Track/weight Lifting coach for advice on how to get J. ready for a Track meet. And secretly I needed to hear his voice. I needed to hear the reassuring ring of his physical fitness mantras. His enthuisiasm is still the same. He invited J. to the HSs Track practice.

"It'll be perfect!" C. Guilford adamatly said.

"Tomorrow is a meet. Bring him up to it! The work outs will be easy so he'll not be too tired. And one of the other coaches brings his kid who is around 8 or so. He'll be right at home!"

Well, in that case! Heck, I took him up on the offer and hoped the stars aligned and we could make it.
I had to finagle to bribery into it in the form of using his new baseball at the school's diamonds, knowing full well that the baseball team would be practicing.

You can only imagine how I felt as the stream of kids from the HS started to pour onto the field in their bright colored clothing. I think J. and I were the only bland clothing colored folks there besides the coaches.

I watched J's face as he looked at the size of the "kids" coming and his. He started to down his Gatorade in the hot sun and "home" was the furthest thing he felt close to. He wanted to GO home.

And Yeh, it was HOT. 70 degrees. Tomorrow is supposed to be 80. What the heck? Then he said it: "there isn't any kid here. Let's go."

Dang it. I was on the verge of giving up too. But I thought; " no hang tough, let him at least watch them warm up or something." His resolve to leave was magnified by the fact that his lips and teeth were now blue from the Gatorade. Mine were inching toward home now too.
Luckily, a slew of kids from the Jr. High started to stream onto the field and some of those kids were his size! And most luckily a guy came to where we sat on the bleachers to wrap an injured hamstring.

 I asked in desperation if he was a "sprinter". He was!

Quickly I told him of Coach's invitation, that J. ,was there to warm up and take part and would he be willing to take him under his wing?

He was!

Angels break out from the heavens and sing and others play long trumpets!!

J. immediately took to "Nate" because of his entuisiasm to involve J. And plus, it looked like a huge circus at the track. Never have I seen so many kids in bright colors. The new fashion of high voltage color on track shoes, as well, lit up the infield and track like a lazer show.

 We (us bland colored wearing teens from the 90's) never had that many involved in the sports. The equipment is now state of the art- new buildings are also on the grounds to hold equipment. And there were more coaches than I've ever seen. Coaches that are in as good of shape as Coach Guilford.

Everyone started out warming up on the track. Running the laps. J. fell into a good pace and I leaned back on a bleacher and sighed with relief. "Now if he can get through the warm ups", I thought and crossed my fingers.

Eventually, "The kids" all broke down into various groups clustered around the field and on the track. J. went south with the sprinters and they started in on all the drills. Then I saw them do the Karoake drill.

Uh oh.

 J. was in the last group and I wondered if he'd get how to cross front and then back quickly without biffing it and subsequently hating me. If I'd remember this tricky drill, I'd have had him practicing it years ago so that he'd have it mastered by HS! But now I had just thrown him in the frying pan!

Clenching my jaw, I watched as he made it through till the end and the older kids clapped for him!

My heart clapped inside! Yes! He needed that boost! THANK YOU, older kids!!! If you can believe it,  It got better from there. Nate took him to the long jump pit where he was given ops to jump, as if he belonged to the team. Then it was back with the sprinters and he watched them do hand offs with the baton.

I finally walked over to watch as he got into the blocks to do "starts" with the gun. By then Coach had shown up. He had been late due to a flat tire! But he immediately began boosting J.'s confidence. Telling him how to "start". The position he needed to be in. To watch Nate. Oh, and did I tell you he looks the same- dare say, better shape than the 20 years that it has been since he coached me? Okay, 16. But still. Dang. I know how he does it- relentless routines, running, not eating french fries. But it still is baffling.

J. took a few starts and then came over to me and we stretched out together.

"Mom, my favorite sports are basketball and baseball. And football. But I believe in Track."

(Can you imagine what Coach G. felt when he heard that quote? yeh, those of you who know Guilford- know that he eat that up and it will give him the vigor to do 30 more years of coaching. Even Jaden told him he hoped he didn't die, so he could coach him by the time he reaches HS. Coach mocked a heart attack. We all laughed)

It was the cutest thing I've ever heard. And it made me so glad. Why? I don't know quite fully. But it has to do with sharing something with another that you want them to taste. Like a good jelly bean. You have to have someone else try the flavor, if it's Jelly Belly.
And that's what happened with today. He loved the taste of it. Whatever it is that makes you feel exhilerated by something. Somehow it seems important to me to share with my son how important the body is.

Maybe it is because I know what getting mine into good shape did for me and how it helped me deal with the physical adversity and pummeling my body would take later on.... but really I want him to just see how amazing the body can be. Where it can take you. To not take it for granted.

And I knew that coach would be perfect for helping him see that and the knowledge he has about athleticism is beyond words. But it all adds up to building confidence.

J's eyes popped when he started to see the pole vaulters, kids doing hurdles, high jumping. It was as if a light went on in his head and he was like: "Oh, this is what the point is." Or it looked like he never got outside much, like Rapunzel on Tangled.

Or he was just excited cause it looked like a big play ground. I'm sure that's it.


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