Friday, October 18, 2013

Cross Country Season

This has been a good year for cross country. Emma and Ben both ran for West Valley and we were blown away by their improvement over the course of the season. I don't know if I've ever seen them work so hard at something. Emma shattered her times from last year and finished in the top seven (varsity level) for three out of the six races. I was so impressed with her determination. I think it was the second meet of the season when Scott started giving our kids (and a couple other kids on the team--more on that later) goal times before they ran. If they met their goal they got a milkshake, that was the deal. Mind you, most of the time these were hefty goals, maybe thirty seconds faster than they had run before. The first two times they all made it, but the next time fell short of the goal. Scott was quick to figure out a compromise--"How about we just get a cone anyway since you all ran two miles?" Emma was quick to say, "No. That will just make me think 'oh well, I don't have to try very hard I'll get ice cream anyway.' I only want ice cream if I meet my goal." Why does that make me feel so proud of her? Why is she so awesome? I don't even know. Love her.

Ben ran last year in elementary school in their one mile races and he always did just fine. Staying about the middle of the pack, no biggie. Something happened since last fall, because he quickly started to amaze us with how fast he was running the two mile races this year. He also made varsity three of the six meets, and consistently finished in the top 20-30% of all 350ish middle school boys running. And we were all, "Wait, what?" Once he got a taste of being a good runner I think he liked it. A lot. He worked very hard to continuously improve. Love him.

Also, we got to take two kids who are good friends with Emma and Ben to most of the meets with us. I think there are not many things more fun than listening to a van full of young teenagers chatter and laugh on the way to a cross country meet. I could listen in forever. They were fun, funny, encouraging and awesome. Love those kids. Bonus: I would always bring a dinner-on-the-go for the runners to eat on the way to the meet. Our garden has been producing a nonstop bounty of green beans (which our kids love to eat raw) so I would always bring along a bagful of those too. One of our friend passengers was heard to remark (not sarcastically, mind you), "I love riding in the Cruzes' van, there's always these delicious green beans!" Wish I had a photo of that!

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