Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Faster, Higher, Stronger

My son qualified for states in the pentathalon, hurdles and high jump. He competed in the pentathalon last weekend and was third in the state in high jump, 11th overall, and achieved three PRs (personal records) in high jump, shot put and 1000 meters. He equaled his PR in hurdles, but did abysmally in long jump, hence his 11th place finish. But hey, 11th place isn't half bad in a field of hundreds, so kudos, son!

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!


  1. I admire anyone who can maintain such a schedule and keep everything balanced!

  2. I'm sensing rhodes scholar may be in his future...athletics and academics (and the fact he doesn't talk much about academics means little, afterall, he's talking to his parents about things - and at his age that's a great sign!)

  3. Steve, I don't know about balanced! But we can hope.

    mouse, hold that thought! actually, things are so much easier between us now than before he left for college. gaining his freedom has made him more easy-going with me. which is nice.

  4. Wow, good for him! You must be so proud.

    Did I have that much energy at his age? :) I sure don't have it now!

    Hoping things are going okay for you, Angella, I'm thinking about you and wishing you well.

  5. ellen, i was never as fit as he is! I think he was just born with an efficient body. i think some people are.