One more race…
Leading at the half-way mark!
Last Thursday, Aaron, our oldest son, competed in the district cross-country championships at Lower Woodland Park in Seattle. Between Oregon and Washington, the Pacific Northwest is home to some of the fastest runners in the country. His district is arguably the fastest in the state. Needless to say, he was in a very competitive field. We wished him good luck and stood by the course finish line in the rain waiting to see how he would do.
One of the nice things about cross-country races is that they are over in a short time period, usually less than 20 minutes. So, you do not have to endure cold, wet weather for too long. There are also no referees making controversial calls or over-zealous parents coaching from the sidelines.
It is a simple race of speed and endurance where each runner gives all that he can. As a parent, all you can do is watch, cheer, and be there at the finish line for either congratulations or sympathy.
Time: 16:24 (5K course), congratulations this time!
We have never been the neurotic parents who try to live their lives through their children or gain validation by their performance. We enjoy watching him run and pushing himself to his full potential. Good parenting is always walking the fine line between gentle encouragement and incessant nagging. We probably cross the line occasionally. I am sure Aaron feels it is more than occasionally. Oh well, he can thank us later.
I remember when we lived in Costa Rica Aaron came to us wanting to join the running team at his school. I was a little surprised, but glad that he wanted to join a sport. I think that sports help foster physical fitness, a competitive spirit, and a sense of teamwork. He definitely has gotten that out of his years as a runner. He loves the whole atmosphere of a race: the team bonding, the coach’s pep-talk, the friendly competition among runners he has raced against many times, the rush of adrenaline when the gun goes off, and the exhilaration of flying across the finish line.
The district championship this time was the last local race of his high school running career. It was an exciting, but nostalgic time for him. He raced this course before and knows it and the other runners well. He wanted to go all out one last time.
Competitors and friends
This is one of the reasons why we are very glad that we came home from traveling abroad. Traveling when your children are younger is fun and relatively easy. However, when they reach teenage years they start to come into their own and want more than just to be with mom and dad having adventures. As hard as that is to accept for many parents, it is part of the natural process of growing up. Our family travels are not over, just entering another chapter.
He is a senior in school who will soon be off to university and on his own. This is his time. We are very proud of him and know he will do well.
As for the race, he placed 15th out of a field of over a hundred. We will head off to the state championships next week in Pasco, Washington. Wish him luck!
Next week I will let you know how he did!