Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thanks Coach, I needed that

Just another "re-post" linked to FB.  I apologize if you fellow bloggers feel tricked into a site visit..maybe i don't feel too bad :)

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.

As with almost all my teachers, my coaches had a big influence on my up-binging.

I would like to see a few, or even maybe a lot of things to be different. Things that are hindering me from which I might want to go or do.  Barriers, or at least obstacles, can sometimes get in the way.  It can be anything.  Imagine yourself and the things that are blocking your progress; 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.  I seem to do more of that, now that the snow is gathering on the mountain, if you know what I mean. 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 small 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 school had a tradition of excelling with its track program therefore a large number of 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 in each heat.  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, I felt, true, “But Coach, it is raining!”  I am sure you can agree that I had a good point. 

I cannot remember seeing “Coach” 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, still chomping, he turned two 360 degree turns very slowly.  The other participants looked at me as if I had any clue about what he was doing.  I just shook my head.  The man with the starter pistol even looked at me. Coach swaggered 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. Good 'un Bert....I have often told folks that our coaches were a part of who I am and contributed to more than a few of my small accomplishments in life by teaching me the value of hard work, teamwork, and to never quit no matter how tired or how much I was hurting. Would love to sit down with 'em (in Heaven) and visit again one day.

  2. Old "Tin Star", i have another one or two about our "coaches",,,will post at a later date.. thanks for reading

  3. Ahhh yes. Everyone has issues. It's up to each individual to decide if their "issues" will stop them. Nice reminder. Thank you!

    1. I like the part where the coach says, look around its raining on all the lanes. Too many times in life I make excuses because I am looking inward and can only see my own pain, when there are others all around who are suffering under one kind of burden or another. Isolation can make you lonely and encourages you to stop trying. But, when you see that everyone suffers it gives you courage and encouragement to go on.

  4. We all need a coach whatever track we choose to run on..a good day to you also..Jae

  5. I see a style change in this. Your writing is growing more polished and the tone of the narrator's voice is complex and compelling! Well done :)!!

  6. "I have determined that it is raining in all lanes"

    he sounds like a cross pollination of coach and philosopher - wonderful!

  7. I may have to read this to my students. That quote would be a good tattoo Daddy ;) jut kidding...kinda
    Love my Daddy
    Rachelle (aka, firstborn and favorite) ;)