He competes in states hurdles this weekend, and high jump next weekend. And his coach is sending his hurdles shuttle relay team to Penn Relays! That is huge in the track world, and doubly huge if you are a Jamaican (or of Jamaican extraction). Jamaica has a world-class track and field tradition (hello, Usain Bolt! Hello all those streaks of fast in their yellow and green track uniforms at the last summer Olympics!).
Every year in Jamaica, high schools hold island-wide track and field championships at the National Stadium, and it is a really big deal. When I was growing up, our whole school turned out to cheer for our athletes, and coaches from the U.S. were always in attendance, looking for college recruits. The winning relay acts always went to Penn Relays, and usually aquitted themselves admirably on the world stage. Imagine what that meant to a dot on the map in the Caribbean Sea. Well, we Jamaicans might be from a dot on the map but as my husband likes to point out, our egos are hardly contained by that dot. My son likes to tease by saying I made him fast and his dad slowed him down, since Antigua, where my husband is from, has no such track mojo. But our boy is doing his best with what he got! He loves athletics and may well be pursuing the perfect career for himself in his excercise science and human performance major.
This is what his last Sunday was like: He woke to play in an intramural soccer game at 7:30 am, then traveled to get to his states meet by 10:30 am. He competed in states till 4:30 pm, then went back to his dorm, slept till 7 pm, got up and studied with friends until midnight (we spoke to him during the study interlude and his dorm room was full of camped-out people, whom he maintained were all assiduously working), then he took a break at midnight to play in a club basketball game, then went to bed at 3 am. Whew!
I'm hearing a lot about athletics from our boy, but not so much about academics, so I was glad to hear some studying elbowed its way into his Sunday schedule. I hear he and his roommate have rigged up a hammock in their room, as their third roommate didn't return this semester. Okay, I didn't hear, I saw the picture on Facebook of my son in the hammock with a book in hand and a cheesy grin on his face. He seems to be having a blast. I do hope he's keeping all engines firing at the same time!