Adam is a boy with a lot'a heart.
And most thankfully, that heart is healthy.
Thanks to a reader here, who suggested that we have Adam's heart checked (thank you, "Physician Worrier"!) we took Addy to the pediatrician, who sent us for a chest x-ray and E-something-G, which then led us to a visit with the pediatric cardiologist who did an echo cardiogram (when Adam asked what that was we told him a doctor would yell into his mouth and then stick his ear up to listen for an echo). When all was said and done, the verdict was:
Adam's heart is only large in the metaphoric sense.
He is very healthy.
And very happy, because he got to race yesterday.
That boy is fast.
(and he ate a great lunch before the race)
I find I am loving the track meets. It is quite a different experience from soccer. In soccer there was only one place to look, and that was wherever the ball was. With track, there are no less than 4 events taking place in a given moment.
In soccer, when a kid makes a goal, the audience cheers for their team.
In track, as the kids race by, the audience cheers until the kids cross the finish line. And they cheer for every kid, particularly if one falls or is last to cross the finish. There is a feeling of fellowship in the audience, and every kid feels like MY kid when they are struggling.
In soccer, parents can be heard yelling directions at their kid, and criticizing the ref.
So far, in track, I have only heard parents complimenting skill and effort, no matter whose.
In soccer, the coach decides who plays when, and in what position. In track, a kid decides what he will compete in, and may change his mind, even up to the last minute. Perhaps he doesn't feel strong enough to compete after a hard race so he chooses not to try his high jump that day. Or perhaps he wasn't planning to do the 100 meter, but all of a sudden feels like it. Why not? I love that they are being encouraged to listen to their bodies, and make their choices themselves.
And you know how they say "There are no losers?" In track, there really aren't. Even though the kids race in groups, there may be 20 kids in one race taken in heats. No one will know who the ultimate winner is until all the numbers have been crunched, and honestly the kids don't even seem to care. There is a person with a stop watch at the end of each lane of runners, and as that runner crosses, the person informs the runner of their time. At the end of the day, the kids are only racing against themselves. Personal best, they call it. It is amazing.
During a particular race yesterday, three girls, two from our son's school and one from the host school were racing. They took off at the pistol, but one of our girls began to stagger and stumble, nearly falling. By the time she got her footing she was several paces behind the other two girls. It was a short race, and as they crossed the finish line, the two leaders turned and immediately wrapped their arms around the girl who had faltered as she crossed the finish. She walked between them, crying a little from disappointment, and they comforted her, neither caring about their time, or who "won".
At another moment, a little 6th grader in dead last was dragging himself at the end of his last lap on the mile. At that moment, a teammate of his ran along the side of the track keeping pace with the boy, calling encouragement to him. The boy perked up, and ran with just a little more spring in his step all the way to the finish line.
I felt like I had arrived on a new planet, where all that mattered was doing better than you had in the past. Where the lines between teammates and opponents blur and doing your best made you a winner.
When we were leaving the meet, Adam said, "I do better when there is someone ahead of me. When I am in the lead I don't try as hard to do my best as I do when there is someone ahead of me."
I do my personal best when there is a good example to keep up with, too, don't you?