Hi there! :-)
Well, as a quick update – I’m alive and well, back at college for my second year, already in the swing of classes (and currently hidden away in the library!), adjusted to the routine of practice and racing for the cross country season … hmm, what else? OH. Just reflecting on old teammates, my high school running career, and going through old files on my computer!
One memory from a track season my junior year really stuck with me, and enough so that I wrote a paper about what happened for one of my classes in high school (didn’t hurt that my English teacher was my assistant coach and had heard this story before)! I came across the original copy earlier this summer, and just KNEW I had to type a more permanent one. As far as sharing it on this blog? Well, it’s running related, so why not? Oh, and just one more thing if you go ahead and read this blog post? Just don’t tell him!
When picturing the moment that I would finally talk to Cole Smith, I never thought I would be covered in mud and trying to get away. Track season has meant bad weather, hard workouts, and long practices. My whole track experience changed once Andrea and I noticed Cole. I mean, how could we have missed him? Six foot four, tan, and high-jump extraordinaire helped him to become our perfect man. From then on, we always tried to muster the courage for a quick “Hi” or “Goodluck” whenever we have a meet with him. Until that Saturday in April, neither Andrea or I had captured Cole’s attention.
It was the end of the track meet. The horrible weather meant that everyone and everything was wet and wind-chilled. Almost all the schools had hopped back on their buses, all except for our team. Not to mention that Cole and his team were finishing cleaning up the field as it had been their school’s home meet. Andrea and I had both run a leg on the 4x400m relay after already having run our main events earlier in the meet. Running our cool-down barefoot on the grass around the track, Andrea and I spotted Cole talking to our teammate. Still on the opposite side of the track from the two guys, as we got closer, Andrea and I continued to joke about stopping next to Tyson just so we could join the conversation and talk to Cole. Right as we were about to run by them, we chickened out and dismissed the idea. “Next meet,” we said, “Next meet we’ll talk to him …” Something, of course, that we had been saying all season, and for years.
That was when it happened. When I spotted a blue and white headband right below our feet as we ran along, and I instantly stopped to grab it. As I knelt down, my foot slipped in the muddy grass and there I was, falling onto my butt in the wet grass after a headband, not to mention the yelp I let out! Sitting on the ground, I instantly turned to look if Cole had seen, only to make eye contact with our teammate Tyson, who was looking at the two of us slack-jawed. I was up on my feet in an instant with my prized possession in hand and laughing hysterically from both the utter hilarity of what had just happened and, of course, embarrassment. Tyson later recounted how that when I fell, Cole slowly looked over at me, then looked back and continued talking with no apparent emotion. For as much as we always tried to get his attention and made no real attempt, I think I caught hold of it that day, without even meaning to.
“Remember that time I wiped out on the grass in front of Cole just to grab a headband?” The story may last forever, but Cole Smith won’t. It’s his senior year and Andrea and I still have yet to talk to our sought after man. ;-)
Starting into my second year of college, and thousands of miles away from the high jumper of my dreams (as well as all of my old teammates – and HOME for that matter!) … I’m remembering this track meet and all of the fun times that were had, with the feelings of nostalgia, but also so much happiness, and a few laughs along the way. The moments are the past are just that, in the past. There really is no time like the present, and it’s up to us how we spend and manage out time (like right now, this is a study break, okay?).
I feel blessed to have made the memories I did while high school, even if since I’ve graduated they’ve gotten a new stadium, had the track replaced, and (!!!!) have a turf football field. Emory’s field is real grass, and the weather is starting to turn again into fall … or should I say autumn? ;-) Here’s to what’s to come!
Until next time,