Sunday, May 9, 2010

Life is Good, Even if Running is a Mess

If you read my training blog, you noticed my running is a mess.  Persistent back problems continue to nag me.  My right leg seems to be rotting off.  List of right leg problems, pirformis, popliteus, hamstring, ankle, calve.  And life is pretty good.  Last Sunday, I felt okay.  Some things were hurting, but nothing too bad that day.  So with all the screwed up training and hurting, I thought what should I do, POLE VAULT.  I used to pole vault some, but rarely ever do any now.  I was coaching a practice with some kids Sunday and thought I'd have some fun.  It was fun to launch one's self wildly upside down into the sky.  What's the point if being alive, if you're not alive.

Coaching has been a lot of fun this spring.  I am a distance runner who coaches the pole vault?  Yea.  I have a mostly untalented, freshman girl who has been a true joy to coach.  She has done basically everything I've asked her to do.  She may not have the talent of many other high school girls, but she kills most's work ethic.  She also vaults much more correctly than most, which is required to be competitive if you're lacking talent.  She finished 3rd at our regional yesterday, so gets to go the our State Meet next Saturday.

This past Monday was pretty cool as well.  I got a call from a former high school runner around lunch.  They had a situation that they wanted my advice on.  They said as they were trying to decide what to do, they thought I would be the perfect person to ask for input.  That was cool and rewarding.  Then at practice my girl did about three drills.  She was tired from her workout and distracted, so we sat on the pits and talk for about an hour.  It was just some typical, high school, mean girl stupidity.  She just needed some reassurance on what and who is really important.  High school can be a tough place to learn to just be yourself.  It was a great practice.  I enjoy working with the high schoolers on a level beyond just how to run, throw, jump, or pole vault.  I see that as a true privilege.  I hope athletics is just a tool to enjoy life and learn lessons about yourself and life.

Alison threw out another funny comment recently.  We had a couple over and later I commented how she looked nice in the shirt she was wearing.  Her reply, "Thanks, it's one that I got out of the trash."  She got it from the dumpster when she was at UNC in Chapel Hill.  Someone had thrown out a whole bag of clothes that were just Alison's size.  I think she misses that dumpster and sorting through other people's trash.  It was better than a thrift store since it was free.  The end of each school year was always best as college students will throw anything way.  I was reminded of couple of years ago when she brought me a piece of cake home from her work.  She had pulled it from the trash can there as someone had tossed it at the end of the day.  Yep, I ate it.  We're a great couple aren't we?

I'll leave you with one of my favorite Alisonisms.  She said it a couple of years ago while were we talking about life.  In general, we feel we've lived good one.  She commented that she seems to always get whatever she wants.  Then she worded it perfectly.

"If you are always happy with what you get, you always get what you want."

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