Cross Country

I had one of the two farthest away meets last night at Cedar Rapids Jefferson - Noelridge Park. It was a nice course though a bit boring and lackluster in the hill department (our girls didn't mind the second problem). When we got there it was my job to stand at the two-mile mark and take splits. Taking splits becomes a little competitive to see who can yell over everyone else but that's not important.

The two mile mark was between four baseball fields with a football field in the middle - weird I know. But from where I sat underneath a tree I got to see a junior high football game, baseball practice, and my absolute favorite - rugby practice. I mean, honestly, how many times a week do you get to watch rugby practice if you aren't in some place where you sing "God Save the Queen" as your national anthem?

Another plus of being a timer is seeing all the girls. I see the good, I see the bad and I see the ugly. I see people trip over the only big hill. And then comes the best part - cheering them on. It's one thing to cheer my girls on. That's easy. But a girl was running Fresh-Soph from Iowa City High and she was really struggling. I smiled at her and told her "Good job! You're almost there!" (In Iowa girls run 2.5 miles.) She looked up at me and smiled hugely. "Thanks!"

And despite the fact that I could be happy about so many other things, having just come out of a really horrendous school day, it made my day.

On the bus back, watching the headlights pass us as we went along I-80, I sat next to our home-schooled girl Katie. And I found somebody I like to talk to and wish I had started talking to her earlier this season.

It's a great experience - cross country. And I only wish I had done it all four years. (Well, for the people - of course not for the running!)

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