Thursday, January 14, 2010


I am tired. Tired of this, tired of that…. I often find myself wrestling with things that other people are able to just leave alone.

Nope, I am not going to gripe on a particular subject. I am going to talk about a solution. (I hope)

You folks are going to get the impression that the only people that influenced me growing up were my athletic coaches. This is not the case and in the future I will talk about these other people also, but this came to mind this morning.

I would like to see a few, or even maybe a lot, of things be different. These things are hindering me in where I might want to go or do. Barriers or at least obstacles are in the way. It can be anything. Imagine yourself and the things that are getting in your way. Business, school, reading writing, ‘rithmetic. Maybe ailments. I know I have a bushel load of those too. It has to be something though, doesn’t it? Something is always causing the soup to be a little too salty.

Then I remembered.  It has been a looonnngggg time since I was in high school. Things change. Those that have seen a glimpse of my stature, you can see that it might be described as robust. I am not overweight. Even though at 6’2”, I am just too short for the comparison scale to match my weight. You might find this hard to believe but in high school, I ran track. Hurdles. I know, not your normal idea of a hurdler, but that is not the point. I enjoyed a level of success in this effort. That is not the point either. Wait, maybe it is. I don’t know.

Our school was hosting a track meet with a large number of other schools. The tradition of the school was the track team always had excelled in track therefore schools wanted to come to our meets. In most of the running events, because of the large number of participants, preliminary races or trials are run to determine the fastest times. The finals were then run at the end of the meet to determine the ranking of the runners in that event. The preliminary times were not as important as long as they were fast enough to make the “cut” for the final races. I was fortunate enough to make the finals in one of the events. I truthfully cannot remember exactly which particular event.

Time came for the final event in that category to be run. The coach and I were talking about “go, go, go” type of stuff. He mentioned that I did not have the fastest time in the pre-lims and it had been nowhere close to my best times. It was a very cordial type of conversation. My response was immediate, and was true, “but Coach, it is raining!” I am sure you can agree that I had a good point.

I never saw Coach Baily without his Beechnut chew, and I never saw him spit,,ever. He also was a robust man. The race was ready to start and the starting blocks were in place. He walked gingerly about twenty feet out in front of all the runners. Stretching both arms out parallel, he turned two 360 degree turns very slowly. The other participants looked at me as if I had any clue what he was doing. I just shook my head. The man with the starter pistol even looked at me. Coach walked swaggardly back to where I was standing, grinned and shook his head in an affirmative nod.

“Well, Bert, you are in luck”

“Coach, what in the heck are you doing and talking about?”

“No, excuses, I have determined that it is raining in all lanes.”

The starter pistol went off echoing against the brick walls of the gym and high school buildings. The race went well.

Again,,,”Thanks Coach, I needed that.”


  1. Love it! Reality checks make me laugh.

  2. Oh this was fun to read, and I loved how the coash reacted........:-) Hugs

  3. That was great. What fun to read that!

  4. That was so good! Sounds like a smsrt coach!

  5. Yup. The only things that get in our way are the things we let get in our way. Thanks Glen.

  6. HA! I swear, that's what I was thinking at your excuse. How we all do that. It's good to keep in mind the playing field is pretty much level, one way or another.

  7. Really good post,Glenn
    I like your coach, and I don't even know him...
    giggle...I totally agree with Liza.
    We limit ourselves all the time, don't we.
    It's really good to see you writing again.

  8. Oh my gosh. So darn true. Excuses are limps in training. Oh, but I sure do have a few...yes I most certainly do!

  9. The coach's reaction was terrific. I enjoyed reading this very much. Well done again Glenn!

  10. I love this one. But then, I love them all.

  11. I can imagine you doing the exact same thing, what an excellent way to make a point :)

  12. That's a really good lesson, but that's not the only reason I like this story...