Thursday, September 24, 2015

September 24

Some months ago, someone I went to high school with posted a picture of his sophomore year’s basketball team on Facebook. It was followed by a water cooler conversation about that magical, undefeated season; the coach; how hard they had worked that year and how satisfying the experience had been; how the lessons they learned then have stayed with them. The basketball coach was also the cross-country coach, and I remembered the thread of conversation about him as I stood in the sharp autumnal air at Abbott’s cross-country meet earlier this week. When I got home, I found and re-read that string of comments; dozens of them.

Coach was by far the best influence on me in school, he ran the xcountry team too and ran us to death, but it paid off. I don’t remember ever getting out ran by any team; we were always the fastest team.

And:

He didn't take any whining, ran the hell out of us, and most importantly he laced up his sneakers. He was unstoppable back then and probably still is. And if you elbowed him, he'd give it right back! And he liked to talk some trash out there too. Best coach I ever had....bar-none!

And:

We had the advantage of that huge dark gym back then too with the weird rubber floor! By the time the other team figured out which of the 100 lines on the floor were the bball court lines we had a big lead!


I wonder if Abbott will remember middle school cross-country and how he ran in the crisp golden afternoons when he’s a middle-aged man with traces of gray in his hair; if he’ll recall the goal-setting his coach taught him to do, the conversations with his friends during the practices, when everything was showered in sunlight.

2 comments:

Margaret said...

Great recount of memories. Lovely picture!!

Lecia Phinney said...

Thank you, Margaret! xo