Our first official race as a team was incredible for a few reasons.
It was very early. This taught us what it feels like to rise and run.
It rained the entire race. This taught us to push through discomfort that we cannot control.
It was crowded and full of distractions. This taught us to focus and remember our goals.
The more even we go, the more we pace ourselves, the better our time will be. Plus, it is pretty badass to run full throttle through the chute of a stadium and have your family cheering you on! I hung back and did not push so I could see the girls finish. This coach cried before 8AM on Thanksgiving Day. And I am not sorry or sad :).
Our youngest, “smallest” girl is also our most resilient, the one who encourages everyone else to keep going and keep trying. She loves launching into a sprint and raced her heart out today. So proud of Quincy.
“I didn’t have time to pack my lunch, so I grabbed some goldfish on the way out the door. I had to help get my brother ready for pre-school and then we needed to go to court. I had so much to do and needed to help my mom. School lunch is so gross, so my stomach hurts but I am trying-promise Coach.”
I walk with her back to the gym. “I had a similar middle school experience, took care of my brothers, got them ready for school, parents in trouble. I get it.”
“You did? How many brothers do you have?” she asks and I can tell she is surprised I can relate.
“Two and we’re really close today. My mom was just doing the best she could too and I promise you things change but I am so glad you are out here with me. I am so glad we get to know each other.” We walk in silence.
“Do you play any instruments, Coach Green?”
“No, I don’t but I tried playing piano in college and it didn’t work out” I explain.
“I play the piano, I taught myself! Will you stay after practice so I can play you a song I just learned?”
How could I say no? Of course I will do this and in this moment my heart swells and I really have no clue what I am doing. This child is living an adult life and I recognize it and I have three million emotions wrapped in one.
She plays me this:
“Will you come meet my mom, tell her how I did today?”
I smile. “Yes, of course I would love to meet your mom, come on.”
She hugs me with relief.
I don’t know what I ever did to get this moment but I will never forget it.