We ventured to El Paso Gridley and dare I admit, up until this point I thought Cross Country was rather boring. Sad, but true. I know that long distance running isn't for the faint of heart and I've never had what it takes to be a runner. (I'm also not a Nascar fan, I can't stand to watch cars drive for hours in an oval shape. Not a hater, just not a fan.) This time, I was taken by surprise at the hay bale jumping, creek crossing and ravine climbing. After you hurdled your last hay bale, up hill mind you, then you crossed the finish line. Not your average XC course if you're asking me.
With the temperature hovering in the mid 90's and humidity making it unbearable, I was a little worried when we arrived and the kids were dripping with sweat as they sat in the shade. Miss K looked at me with that face that says I don't want to do this and said, "Mom, it's hot." I told her I knew, we all were hot. I felt awful for that child. Everyone was covered in sweat and our clothes grew damp and clingy. We weren't even moving and we were miserable.
The first race began and the girls were doing OK. Then, the second and a boy collapsed. Literally, he came through the finish line and passed out, standing up. Luckily, there were people there to catch him and they began stripping off his shoes and socks and pouring water all over his body.
This scene, gave way to a little panic inside me and I wanted to go grab my little girl and take her home. So I began praying for that boy and for my child who would be next to face this brutal course and the blistering heat. Was I crazy for wanting to take her and run?
I stood at the starting line and watched as they took off. There were so many kids running in the Open that I couldn't find Miss K. The Open was a mix of both boys and girls and there was a flood of children running. As soon as they were gone, I ran over to one of the creeks and watched and waited. Finally, I saw her, she was doing well. I didn't get any pictures because I was so relieved and excited that she looked so strong as she forged ahead.
I cheered her on and then moved to the finish line. I saw her run through behind us and she'd have to conquer another hill before we'd see her again. Finally, she made it and I was never so relieved in my life. I stood there a moment or two, thanking God that she was OK. Then, I left and went to check on her.
She was hot, of course, but she was fine. Her knee was bothering her and luckily, I'd packed a bag of ice with a wash rag inside so she could ice and cool off at the same time. I told her how proud I was and squeezed her tightly. I tried not to embarrass her or hang on too long because her face was red and as a mom, I know how it is to be hot and tired and sweaty and have people all over you. I just wanted her to know that my heart swelled with pride.
|This is Mr. P. He's kinda special to us and such a cutie!|
I wanted to stay there and hold her and kiss her sweaty little, gross forehead, but I knew that was just silly because here she was 11 years old and that was not appropriate by any 11 year old standard. And so, we left, dropped the man off with his daddy to get ready for bed and I went back to the school to wait for the bus of Olympians with the rest of the parents.