Wednesday, June 10, 2009

First Track Meet

Ben's first track meet was this past Saturday. I haven't been to a track meet since high school. I prepared as well as possible, making sure we had lunch, cold drinks, cold fruit, a beach umbrella for shade, chairs to sit on, and books and games for the girls to keep them occupied.

We had to meet the team at the practice field at 6:30 AM. Now, I don't know about everyone else, but getting three kids up and dressed and out of the house at that time of morning on a Saturday is not a happy occasion around here.

But we did it. We met the team at the practice field and followed the leader over to the University of Hawaii track where the actual meet was being held.

The problem was, the leader was unconcerned that there were twelve cars following him, and he drove like a bat out of hell all the way there. I was the third car in line, and we lost everyone behind me at some point. He was speeding, and changing lanes as though he were dreaming about NASCAR.

We got to the main track, started unloading all of our gear and realized that we did not have Ben's running shoes with us. He had picked them up to bring with him, then put them down to help me load everything into the car, then forgot to pick them up again.

So I left Ben with his team, and left the girls with my friend Susan who was there with her kids and tore back off for the house. Thankfully, I had just made this trip at top speed, and that prepared me for the mad dash back to the house and then back to the field - a trip which took over an hour.

I kept calling Susan along the way, "Has Ben had to run yet? What's happening? What have I missed?"

Finally, just as I was pulling back into the parking lot, Susan told me, "He's just about to do the long jump!"

I dashed up to the long jump and handed Ben his shoes just as the coach said, "Ben! You're up!"

I stood at the end of the sand pit, gasping and panting for air as I watched Ben jump.

I think he did well. I was a little dizzy and couldn't really tell.

Susan told me that when Ben jumped one man standing there said, "Wow. That boy has got some legs on him!"

Ben later said, "Do you think he means I'm strong.... or that I'm sexy?"

Apparently, they called for everyone to line up to run the 100 m while Ben was doing the long jump. We never heard it and he missed his first run. I was rather angry and had a heated discussion with one of the coaches about it. How can they expect us to hear an announcement for line up while competing in an event elsewhere on the field? Huh? Huh? How? I was ticked.

So, we sat around for a few hours in the hot sun waiting for the 400 m to roll around. That was lovely.

Finally, they called for line up. All the kids who were running the 400 met in the middle of the field to stretch together before running. They stretched and they stretched. They called for the youngest kids to run first. They stretched and they stretched some more. The next youngest kids ran. They ran a few sprints and stretched some more. The next youngest kids ran. They sat on the grass in the broiling sun until their coach yelled at them to stretch some more.
After an hour and a half of stretching in the sun with no liquids, Ben finally got to run.

He came in second. I was thrilled!

He came off the track saying, "My legs feel like rubber."

We took him to the shade of our umbrella and got him a water bottle. Note: shade under an umbrella at a track is not cool and breezy the way it is at the beach. It is still mighty stinking hot.

I got him some cold watermelon and Gatorade.

A man came over to tell Ben how well he had done, and noticing how flaked out Ben was told us that there was an ice chest with cold, wet towels in it that Ben could wrap around his head. Ben told me he didn't think he could walk down to where the towels were, so I took off to get him one.

He lay in the pseudo-shade for an hour with that cold towel around his head, slugging down liquids and cold fruit. When they called for line up for the 200 m, Ben said, "I'm not going to be able to do it. My legs are so rubbery, I won't be able to have any speed at all." So he wound up missing his last event as well.

Eight hours in the hot sun to watch two events that lasted just a minute each.

I think I'm going to see if he wants to take up ice skating.

1 comment:

  1. WE had the same type of experience here with Kimberly and Caleb. I was pregnant with Gus. After the frist meet they decided they did not want to do it again. I readily agreed and that was it. I can do without Track as an activity. Great to know he did so well.