Lily had her best run ever last night. I'm proud of my little running bean. Her team's cross country meet was near Owingsville in Bath County.
My mom came out to watch and I drove straight through from Lexington after work to catch the meet. There were about five teams. The elementary school teams lined up and were off without much ado.
Mom and I watched as my diminutive spawn ran across a soccer field and into the woods with her peers. A few minutes later the field stretched back into view and here was my little runner about half a dozen from the back!
Until last night she had pretty much come in dead last in all her practices and meets. It had been getting her down and she was somewhat embarrassed. She wanted to quit all the time but we insisted she stick the season out.
With great pride in my heart I watched as she ran out of the woods and back around the soccer field. With a good stretch to go still she started her kick early and ran hard past us with a huge grin on her face. Instead of counseling conservation of energy I yelled "Run Lily! Run!" as she strode past.
When she was only a few dozen yards out she was still running fast and then I saw her finally slack off. By then she was near her coach who urged her to go faster. She kicked one final time with a rocket booster blast of speed into the chute. She actually passed a couple of other runners at the last.
At the finish she sported a grin and was in great spirits. Usually she's grumpy and complains of being tired and hungry, but she seemed quite proud of her effort and so were we.
I texted her mom right away and she texted back how proud she was.
Standing on the sidelines was hard for me. I desperately wanted to be running with those kids. I think I'm trying to live in the past and claim back some of the lost years when I didn't get to run cross country. I ran my freshman year when we lived in Ohio, but when we moved back to Kentucky there was no cross country team at my high school.
Anyway, she has a meet Saturday and I'm excited to see how well she'll do.