Sunday, October 27, 2013

Running nervous - hey it's normal

On Monday, October 21, 2013, the fourth meet of the Independent Middle School League (IMSL) took place at Miramar Lake at approximately 4:00 p.m.  At 1:41 p.m., I received the following text from my son Zach: "I don't wanna go to the race".  Texts back and forth soon followed, with Zach texting me he did not want to race and me encouraging him to finish the season.

What brought this all about was Zach was nervous.  To put this in perspective, Zach has won the prior two races he entered this season by 20+ seconds.  These were not run to you puke type efforts, but more like jogs for Zach.  It's hard to fathom, but a kid dominating the season, was still getting nervous.

But hey, we all get nervous, its normal and only natural.  Races, whether or not we are running to win or for a personal best, involve putting ourselves out there.  We don't want to disappoint ourselves and our expectations.  At the same time, running is a difficult and solitary sport.  There is no one to rely on but yourself and you never know if your legs are going to show up.

Shana, the mother of Zach's teammate, Colin, was scheduled to drive Zach to the meet.  I called Shana and explained the situation.  Shana graciously agreed to convince Zach to run.  Shana and her husband, a former ski racer and motorcross racer, then spent the car ride giving Zach a pep talk.

Among other texts, Zach sent me ones telling me not to come to the meet.  I texted back that I would come, but would not talk to him.  I got to the lake before Zach and stood off to the side, keeping my promise.  Zach soon arrived and came over to me.  I gave him a hug and he told me he wasn't nervous anymore.

Starting line (I know, I need to take better photos)
Once the race began, Zach sprinted to the front, stayed in first the whole way and won by 20 seconds on the two mile course.  Remember, everyone gets nervous - even the winners.

Zach with his #1 stick

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