Thursday, June 10, 2010
More Blessings from Track
Today I had a long talk with Lamont Bowles, the boys' track and field head coach at my school. He was congratulating me a stellar season. "We've never had distance runners like this before," he remarked. "You brought something to this team that they haven't had: you made running a mathematical science. . . . And you showed them the purpose behind every workout so that they would have confidence in what you told them and in what they were doing." When I told him that my goal at Glen Allen HS was to win the Capital District cross country title in five years, he said he knew I was going to be a good coach, because I have a clear goal in mind.
As I also found out, my male runners broke three school records this year and missed a fourth by less than one second. I had no idea! I was really surprised, because the few athletes I did have really didn't run any stellar times (2:06 in the 800 meters, 5:00 in the 1600 meters, 11:17 in the 3200 meters, and 8:44 in the 4x800 meter relay).* But when I looked up the school records, I found out that these were all at the top! Additionally, another runner unofficially broke the 800 meter record with his 4x800 m split (2:04), and one who sadly was academically ineligible for outdoor track ran an indoor 1000 meter school record of 2:57. Five school records in my first season? Not too shabby, when I look at it that way. (And this isn't counting previous times that the 1600 and 3200 records had been broken earlier in the season.)
Coach Bowles also said that early on he was "sizing me up" and "getting a good look at me" to see if I was someone he could work with long-term. He said that I was mild-mannered and good-natured, that I quickly built a good rapport with the kids, and that I could take advice and feedback well. But when asked my opinion about something, he noted that I wasn't afraid to speak my mind.
If Gary Chapman's right, then I think words of affirmation would be my "love language." It sure felt good to not only see that I was really something the school needed this year, but that I would be, from both a performance and a personal standpoint, someone valuable to the school for the future as well. Unfortunately for the Warriors--and not without a bit of sadness on my part too--that future lies at a different school.
P.S. Props to my endearing wife for being a "track widow" from November through May and for cheering us on at a few meets!
*Just for reference, here are the top boys' times in the district this year: 800 m - 1:57; 1600 m - 4:26; 3200 m - 9:47; 4x800 m relay - 7:59.