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Sunday, March 3, 2013

There are many ways to win


We witnessed another of those ways yesterday at the regional collegiate track and field event. Our son and his training partner and fellow heptathlete Alec had both performed less well than they wanted over the two day event. Alec, who is a spectacular athlete and was seeded first in the field, had DQ'ed in shot put after fouling three times. His dad was in the stands, the first time he'd been able to attend one of his son's college meets, and I wonder sometimes if the presence of parents don't make our children a little nervous, no matter how nonchalant they seem. Our son, who was seeded tenth, jumped a lower height than he is capable of in the pole vault, getting eliminated from that event early. There was now no way either one could amass the points to finish in medals, and they both considered not running the final 1,000 meter race. As has been explained to me, that race, after two full days of competing, is excruciating. But in the end, both young men did run. They ran it for their coach, whose brother in law had died unexpectedly at age 38 just a couple of days after States last week. When they told the coach they didn't want to run the event, he said, "This is the last indoor meet of your college career. Don't go out that way. Run it for me, and cross the finish line together." And they did. They ran the race together, marking each other's time, step for step as a tribute to their coach and the way he always pushed them to be better. After the race, I watched from the stands as all three men hugged each other. I couldn't see from where I was but I sensed there were tears. It was beautiful.




 That's his dad's hand, loving him. 

14 comments:

  1. You and your husband seem to have done everything right with your kids as they have turned out to be such lovely young adults. Praises for you. Sweet Jo

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    1. Thank you, Sweet Jo. Not everything right by any means, but we have been lucky. Let's keep a good thought that all continues to go well. xo

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  2. Your title says it all, and the boys' actions proved it.

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    1. nancy, it was very moving watching them run in synchronicity, for a purpose, a tribute. thank you for being here, friend.

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  3. The human spirit can be motivated by so many things, but it seems the very best, when it is motivated by each other. This is such a beautiful post, Angella. And your husband's hand on your son's head, priceless, just priceless.

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    1. Debra, his hand on our son's head reminds me somehow of that post when your youngest went to prom and was walking up that hill in those towering shoes and her dad was walking protectively behind her. We are lucky to be married to such good fathers and good men. Hugs, and welcome back!

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  4. I love the picture with his Dad's hand. So sweet and loving.

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    1. Andrea, i love it too. Glad to see you!

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  5. It's hard to tell from pictures, but I feel I see such sweet spirits in your children. You've done well.

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    1. Vesu, they are sweet spirits, which is not to say they are perfect, but their hearts are good. Thank you for the kind word!

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  6. they are still so young, your kids...so much ahead for them. and yet, in your photographs of them i am always struck by how present they are, how alive in the photographic frame they seem. this is the tribute, to me...there is little yearning, no sense of wanna-be, gonna-be, in either of them; there is only now. that seems so special--and, as in any good photograph, a dialogue between subject & artist. ( i see this in elizabeth aquino's pix of her kids, as well...) good mothers!

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    1. Susan, i love your comment. And I know what you mean about the photos of Elizabeth's kids, they seem so present in their truth. all of them.

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  7. I'm glad they ran the race and that they ran it in sync. The coach was right, don't go out without finishing. Beautiful.

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    1. Kristin, i think they would have regretted it if they had not run. I think the coach knew that. Instead, they did a very beautiful moving tribute to their four years with this coach. i was glad it worked out the way it did. xo

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