Our senior daughters are on the cross country team at their high school.
3.1 miles constitutes a race and whether you are the first one across the finish line or the last one across the finish line…
I consider every single runner a winner!
In fact, any sport where you cry and throw up at the finish line makes you a winner in my book.
In today’s society where physical education programs have been cut and kids are in front of the TV or computer, I give a shout out to any kid who juggles school and participates in athletics.
It is far easier to choose not to participate. Just ask The Grunter.
But then he’ll throwdown with his athletic twin sisters about how
he completed his first year of college during his senior year.
Then a parent usually has to intervene.
When we’re not busy making
Scary Baby remove flyers in the neighborhood.
Back to Cross Country…
I’ve very proud of our girls and particularly our redhead daughter Wizzy who has run all four years in high school. It is not a natural talent for her – this long distance running thing. She is long and lanky but she is also stiff and has an irregular heartbeat (inherited from her Dad).
She also has that darn twin sister Roger Leroy, who appears to be good at anything she tries. When she was “forced by us” to run Cross Country her sophomore year – we wanted them to run to condition themselves for the basketball season – ole’ Roger Leroy went out in the time trials and snagged the last Varsity spot on her first try. Top seven runners make Varsity but that changes week to week based on previous race results.
The whole sport has been a new experience for our family. I noted at the first race four years ago that it really isn’t a spectator sport unless you, yourself, are also a cross country runner. Seems after the race starts, parents actually chase their kids into the woods and cheer them on.
I was baffled.
Then I asked where the finish line was.
Now, that’s what I find out at every race.
Then I position myself near the finish line to cheer the girls on.
I only brought a chair the first and second year. Hush already.
Last week the girls ran in a race at their school’s course. Remember how I’ve written about how we love sports and all that it teaches kids? How important it is to be a good loser as well as a gracious winner. Our no gloating rule.
It was a proud moment when I snapped this picture of Roger Leroy and three runner friends last week displaying cards that show the order they finished.
She has never finished in the NUMBER ONE spot before.
WOW. What an accomplishment in her senior year.
She didn’t gloat. Has she actually learned something from us?
But, then again, maybe we put too much emphasis on NOT gloating and did not put enough emphasis on being honest.
Oh wait, that was just some good old-fashioned teenage HUMOR. Here are their real numbers. Ahhh, funny, funny girls.
Meanwhile, you might be asking – where is my sweet Wizzy?
She didn’t want her picture taken. There were a lot of tears. She had a rough race even though she did great and finished nineteenth!
She was being consoled by Sharté because there were some very, very bad displays of poor sportsmanship by parents. And from her own teammate.
The same teammate whom she has consoled after many races in past years when her own parents made her cry.
This teammate has had a surge of improvement in her time and actually beat Wizzy.
It’s not the beating – it’s the gloating. It is the parents gloating. I know it happens in almost every sport.
But it doesn’t mean it will ever be right.
And it will always be sad.
For all of our kids…
Life Lesson (LL): The apple not falling far from the tree becomes very obvious when parents are seen setting a bad example right in front of everyone’s kids.
Share a Life Lesson (SALL): How do you handle over-the-top parents and at what age do you stop intervening when the kids and the parents are hurtful to your kids?