Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cross Country

The season is up and running and I don't think there is another sport where winning is so satisfying. There is no other sport we compete in where our underdog-fighting-scrapping-to-the-top ideology comes through so clearly. We arrive at the meet in our black uniforms, looking a little ragged, too short, too dark, terrible socks, the wrong shoes, parents don't want to come anywhere near us, we brought few parents along, kids from the other schools look at us and mutter, and maybe point, this school with the terrible reputation that keeps getting into the papers for high success rates, and man, we're so short it's ridiculous.

And then we go out and win the first two races.

And the kids come across that finish line so red in the face it's almost funny, exhausted, foot-sore because they have terrible shoes, gasping for air, dying really, and still pushing, and sometimes you have the sprints to the finish and you can tell they've really pushed themselves, really dug deep as the cliche goes, and even as you wonder cynically what it would take to get that kind of effort in the classroom, you're impressed and a little touch, and a little awed that you put into motion the events that led to this kid working like this.

I love it.


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