Wednesday, April 20

Sun Tans and Seat Jumping

Thoughts Along the Way

Yesterday afternoon I slipped out of the office for a little while to watch a high school track meet. I wanted to watch some of our SHS FCA guys, touch bases with some of the coaches from Springdale and Fayetteville, and see some other kids I know. I don't go to many meets just to watch, but being at this high school meet brought back some memories ...

When I was in high school, I played football (intense, serious business), wrestled (hard work and I was bad), and "ran" track (a chance to get out of school early). I was a shot putter - which was the best event! Practice consisted of jogging a couple of laps, maybe running up and down the bleachers a few times, and throwing for about 30 minutes. On some days, we would then head out to the lake to ski. Not a bad life. But on meet days it was even better! Meet days went like this:

1) Get out of school early, grab a blanket and a Coleman cooler full of sandwiches, candy bars, and Cokes, and go to the meet.
2) Throw the shot (usually the first event) and be done in 30 minutes.
3) Sit on the blanket in the infield, work on a sun tan, eat sandwiches, drink Cokes, eat candy bars, talk to girls, and make fun of the runners who were working so hard they made themselves sick.
4) Go to the bus for some competitive "seat jumping". Seat jumping was a contest that we invented where you would stand a one seat on the bus and then dive (head first) to see how many seats you could jump over. It was never an official track event - but a regular part of our trips.
5) Do more of #3.

Now, once in a while I did have to take part in a running event. Some meets would have a "Fat Man's Relay." (How politically incorrect!) It was just for those who only did field events and I would run in it when the event was held. Sometimes - especially in smaller meets - I would have to "run" the 2-mile. But I had a very specific purpose in that race - to take as much time as possible so that the real runners would have time to rest before the mile relay. My instructions were to "jog the straights and walk the curves." And go as slow as possible.

No wonder I love track and field so much!

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