My senior year of high school I joined the track team to be with my friends. I didn’t expect much from it, but I wasn’t playing lacrosse that season and I wanted an easy way to spend time with my friends. I joined the throwers on the field team and began throwing discus and shot put every day after school. Because I made the varsity team, Cabrini was interested in me as an athlete, and my freshman year I joined the cross country and track team. Unfortunately, after my freshman year, the track team was cut to due to budget and a lack of interest among students. I thought my field days were over, until I found out that my school here has a track and field team, but they were short on coaches. My roommate, Allison, had thrown in high school as well, so we offered to take the field team and train them.
I LOVE IT!
I love being outside with my kids every day, and we have so much fun. Already there is so much talent, and it will only get better as the season progresses. On Thursdays, we have what is known as “Game Day”, where all the students come together no matter what event they do and we play a game together. Last week we played “Capture the Flag” in a game that extended all over campus. It was a blast, running and screaming all over the place. The first game I managed to elude the other team, but in the second game, I got tagged while scaling a fence. That’s right, I scaled a fence. Or, tried to…since I got caught and all! My kids thought it was hilarious, and I was guided to the swing set that was “jail” to wait eventual freedom from one of my teammates.
Technically, according to the rules of the game, my team lost because the other guys got the flag first, but in reality, no one lost that game. I saw my kids come together to work as a team and try their hardest to have a good game. We plotted and planned our moves. Kids sacrificed themselves to the other team in order to give their teammates a chance at getting the opposing flag. When someone fell down in the mud, three hands were there to pick them up. When someone was freed from jail, there were slaps on the back for the attempt at catching the flag.
By this point in the year, I shouldn’t be amazed with what my students are capable of, but I still am. They have proven themselves to be the most genuine human beings I have ever seen. One of the students that I have in class was on the other team and he was the “guard” for the jail. When I was captured, he was laughing and teasing me about it, and things like that make me so happy. This is the student who is going around the school trying to convince other people to join the team. I heard him as I was walking back from the teacher’s lounge with a cup of coffee the other day: “Why wouldn’t you want to join? Ms. T is the coach! She’s awesome!”
My kids think I am awesome. They are not afraid to tag me out in a game, or tease me for going to “jail”. They leave me gifts for Valentine’s Day and laugh at the way I say “water” (hey, Philly!). They love my baby turtle and vie for his attention (he only pays attention when they feed him). In the classroom, and on the field, these kids are the ones who are awesome.