An Ending & A Beginning

In the Summer of 2007, when My Baby, the Runner, told us that she wanted to run Cross Country and Track rather than do Marching Band, we were skeptical about her decision.  (I talked about that here.)

Her twin sister, My Baby, the Band Geek, went on to participate in Marching Band and Winter Drumline, and learned a lot of life lessons.  (I talked about that here.)

Between Marching Band and Winter Drumline with Twin A and Cross Country and Track with Twin B, our lives have been very busy these last four years.  Busier than they were with the older three girls.  That is because these four activities started with practices in the Summer and, in the case of Track, go all the way until Memorial Day weekend.

This year’s Track season has been different.  First of all, the weather has been terrible.  Not just for the athletes but for the fans, too.

Fans sit in the snow at the Wash U Meet.

The kids competed in the snow at the first meet of the year.  In addition to snow and cold, there has been sleet, rain, wind, and cancellations due to thunderstorms.

When we started this journey, the boys and girls teams didn’t talk to one another.   There was division between the older kids and the younger kids.  There was not much parent participation.  The coaches did their best, but the end of season events consisted of get-togethers in the school cafeteria or on the bleachers in the football stadium.

We have truly enjoyed these past four years of Cross Country and Track.  We have watched as a new head coach learned the ropes.  We have watched as the booster club was resurrected.  We have cheered for each other’s kids and even for kids from other teams.  Our kids have developed lifelong friendships.

These three girls have been together for four years.

But, we have made lifelong friends, too.

Cheering for the boys running the 3200 meter in the Sectional Track Meet.

The other reason this year is different is because it is our last year.  Our last year of having kids in high school.  Our last year of watching our kid compete in high school Track.  Each of the last several Track meets, we have experienced a series of lasts as some kids have been eliminated and some kids have advanced in the succession of meets leading up to State.

My Baby, the Runner running the 3rd leg of the 4×800 at the Sectional Track Meet.

My Baby, the Runner, ran the 3rd leg of this race.  We watched her pass 5 other runners to move the team into 1st place before passing the baton to the last runner.  They came in 1st and advanced to the State Meet in this event as well as 7 other events.

We will spend part of Memorial Day weekend at our State Capitol cheering on the 10 girls who will be competing there.  We hope the weather cooperates.

My Baby, the Runner is headed to college and will be rooming with one of her friends from Cross Country and Track.

I know from experience that the friends you make in high school can last a lifetime.  That is my wish for these two, who will be rooming together in college.  Sisterhood – it’s powerful.

This kid, like her twin sister, has also learned a lot these past four years.  She’s learned about winning and about losing.  She’s learned about hard work and overcoming adversity.  She’s learned about what it’s like to be part of a team.

It is interesting that her primary reason for choosing an athletic activity over music was that she wanted to be part of a team.  It was a good decision, and, in spite of our reservations, we are glad that we supported it.

After next weekend, she’ll be hanging up her running spikes on her high school career for good.

Then she will start the next chapter.  And so will we.

An ending and a beginning.

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