Saturday, December 4, 2010

Some Things Just Work Out In The Wash

You ever notice how life works out? I was training, really hard, for three races this past fall. I'm fairly competitive and hoped to win some awards. The first was the Warrior Dash - a three mile obstacle course. The second, a four mile run to support an autism foundation. The last, a 5K for a special needs school.

I convinced Robert to run the Warrior Dash with me. Of course, being young, and strong, and a high-school cross-country runner, he did no training whatsoever. He did, however engage in an awful lot of boasting about how well he was going to do while I wasted my time training.

We arrived bright and early for our run. Little did we know that it was about a mile and a half up a ski mountain, and then two miles back down.

Robert made it about 1/4 of a mile up the mountain before he had to stop, walk and be sick. Being a good daddy, I stayed with him. And, we walked, and ran a little, and walked some more, and ran a little. Robert looked green -- I was chomping at the bit to run. But, I stayed with him.

After forever, we got down to the last three obstacles at the bottom of the course. Robert went first down a 100 foot waterslide -- I had to wait for him to clear it. When Robert saw he had the lead, he took off like a bat out of hell!

I cursed him from the mud I was lying in at the bottom of the slide and took off after him at full speed. He had me, but fatigue caught up with him at the barb-wire trench we had to crawl through, and we crossed the finish line together.

Our times were pitifully slow. There was no award for me. But, I never had more fun running a race!

I was really ready for the 4 mile autism run, and I ran a good race. I improved substantially over last year's time and overall finish. Knowing that I had taken third place in my division last year, I was hoping with my much improved time, to place second this year.

Well, I didn't get second.

And, I didn't get third.

I came in fourth by 3.7 seconds. Son of a &*%#@!!

Yeah, I was ticked.
I killed myself, done well (so I thought), and NOTHING!

On to the 5K. I ran it well, but not as fast as my last 5K. I hurt at the end, and was a bit disappointed with my time.

I thought maybe I might take third in my division, maybe.

Instead, I came in FIRST in the MASTER'S DIVISION! I never dreamed I'd ever take a Masters (and, I won FIFTY dollars, to boot!).

That's my youngest, Matt, running the 5K with me last year.

A glutton for punishment, I ran one more race. A four-miler near my learning center. I didn't expect much -- it's a very competive race, and runners come from all over the state to compete.  I didn't really train hard for this one -- I originally wasn't even going to run it, but something told me to give it a shot.

I was in pain from the second mile on, but I pushed through and did okay taking fifth place in my division. But, what was truly wonderful was hearing the name of one of my former students as he crossed the finish line!

I had no idea he was running, and never would have guessed it. When he started with our program, he had coordination issues, and no one would ever have accused him of being athletic. He was also a bit distractable. He did well by us. He grew stronger, more coordinated, better able to focus, and graduated the program about two years ago. We knew what we did with him would eventually bear fruit, but we had no idea this was coming.

There he was, crossing the finish line in under thirty minutes! His dad came to me beaming. "You should see him. Cross-country, basketball, honor society and straight A's!"

The best award I ever got at the end of a race.  And, to think, I almost didn't even run.

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