This is my third season to coach Cross Country, and there is still absolutely nothing like the first meet of the season. This is the first time that even the returning runners get what I have been telling them from the very beginning:
You have to make the impossible, possible.
I tell them these words early and often to combat those two words that I hear more often than I like:
I remind them that not only can they run, they will run well. And yet, they don’t seem to believe me.
So I stand with them at the start line, convincing them that they will neither throw up nor die, and remind them that they can make the impossible, possible.
The start gun goes off, and off they go. And I wait at the finish line…
And here come the ones who said prior injuries would be an issue, who are way out in the front of the pack. The one who started running late, and hits the finish line passing two people at the last second. The never before runners who said they were scared they would not finish the race came flying across the line. The ones who are growing so quickly and are really starting to develop as runners, the ones who are looking for their niche, the ones who just wanted to be on a team, the returning runners who had a rough last season, all of them running to the finish. Running – not walking. And the one or two runners who you had been working with for weeks and had never completed a mile…not only did they run the entire mile, but they did it well.
All of these runners made their own impossible, possible.
This is the joy of this sport for me – showing these runners, from 6th grade to seniors, that they can run, and they can run well.
You cannot help but truly love that moment.
And you can’t help but truly love the high fives, selfies, and sweaty group hugs that come afterwards.
I’m looking forward to returning to school on Monday to watch them confidently walk into the building, the result of a lesson well-learned.
I am so blessed that they call me Coach.