When I arrived at the track on Monday to watch Lyss’s meet, she ran from the high jump area to greet me.
“Guess who doesn’t have to run the mile today!?” she said with evident glee.
I pretended to ponder the issues before laughing and saying, “You!!”
She jumped up and down and said, “I’m running the four hundred meter instead.”
I told her I was happy for her and let her go back to the high jump so she could get a little practice in before the meet started.
The boys high jump always takes FOREVER and by the time it’s the girls’ turn, they’re calling the girls over for their running events.
They made the first call for the 400 meter dash and Alyssa rolls her eyes and got up to go check in. My mom called after her, “Remember, this is a dash, not a jog!”
Alyssa turned and gave her a patented ‘teenager’ look and continued on her way to check in for the race.
We left the high jump area and went to stand near the finish line of the race, which happens to be the starting line too since the 400 is one lap around the track.
Alyssa started in lane one, which is the farthest inside the track. This also means she was the farthest back from the other starters since the farther outside the track you get, the more you’re actually running if you were to all start at the same spot.
The starting gun went off and away they went. My mom and I could tell from the start that Lyss was running much faster than she ever runs when she is doing either the 800 meter or the mile. She passed the first girl as they were coming around the first curve. She passed the next two on the straight away. She passed the last two on the last curve and flew down the last straight away toward the finishing line.
My mom and I were ecstatic for her. The thrill of watching your kid do something she didn’t think she could do is amazing.
She was so proud of herself. I hugged her as she tried to catch her breath and said, “I think they found your race!”
She laughed and took the water I’d offered her.
It was so much fun being there when Lyss got home and told her dad about her race. The pride, the JOY she felt in winning that race was evident.
The next day I was able to pick her up from practice (I’d left work early to take O to the consult to get the referral to the ENT) and so I was able to hear all the girls on her team cheering for her as she walked toward my car.
When she got in, I asked what that was all about.
She said that when practice first started, the coach told them it was going to be a tough running day. Then he said that Lyss had run the 400 meter dash in 74 seconds the day before at the meet.
Let me take a minute here and point out that my daughter ran a lap around the track in a minute and 14 seconds...ONE MINUTE AND FOURTEEN SECONDS. Holy shit, that's some fast running, is what I'm saying.
The coach told all the girls that if any of them (including Alyssa) could run the 400 and either hit or beat Lyss’s time of 74 seconds, none of them would have to practice hard as he’d originally planned.
The girls lined up, the coach started the race and Lyss reported that she again flew around that track. She said as she passed N, the girl who ALWAYS wins the mile and half-mile races, N called out, “What even?!”
Alyssa met her own time from the previous day’s meet and none of the girls had to run a tough practice.
I love that the coach let her prove that her first run of the 400 wasn’t a fluke. He used her as an example of conditioning, pointing out that because she never bitched or complained about having to run it, even though she consistently came in last or second to last in all the meets, he’d kept her in it and running that race gave her the stamina to run the 400 in an amazing time for a seventh grader.
I couldn’t be more proud of my girl and her work ethic, her sense of team work and her good attitude.
I could learn a lot from this kid.