Soccer’s Out, Cross Country’s In
The last couple of weeks have been busy for Landon. Tryouts for sports began on August 12th and he decided to go out for the soccer team. There were only 22 spots available (although I don’t think they took 22 boys) on the JV team and despite his best effort, he didn’t make the team. He hasn’t played soccer in a few years though so he wasn’t feeling terribly confident going in and he certainly didn’t let it get him down when he didn’t make it.
When I picked him up on the final tryout day he just said “I didn’t make it so I think I’ll try cross country”. If that doesn’t speak volumes about this kids character and resolve to participate at school than I don’t know what does.
So, soccer tryouts ended on a Friday and by Tuesday we were headed to the track for cross country. (Cross country will accept anyone who wants to try it out, but I’m not sure how people are chosen to run the meets. This is all new to us.)
As we pulled up to the field Landon had a sudden surge of regret and began to have a bit of a panic about what was going to be expected of him. It didn’t help that there wasn’t anyone there that he recognized nor had he any idea what the coach looked like.
A car pulled up beside us as I was trying to convince Landon to get out of the car and two boys about his age stepped out. I rolled down my window and asked them where the cross country team met up and they pointed towards a small group of kids forming near the concession stand. I didn’t do it to embarrass him but there were so many different groups on the field that we had no way of knowing which one was for cross country. After asking the boys where to go Landon reluctantly got out of the car. I told him that if it was awful he could call me and I’d come get him and then the two little kids and I headed to Target for a few things.
We hadn’t even made it to Target before Landon started calling/texting me that he wanted me to come back for him. Someone told him that they were running at least 3 miles a day and that was just enough to put him over the edge. I assured him that he could do it and that I’d be back to get him when practice was over…and then I quit answering my phone.
I worried that he’d be sitting in the parking lot when I returned to get him, a threat he made if I didn’t turn around and come get him, but I figured he’d be okay even if that was what he ended up doing. When I got back to the field I found him smiling albeit hot and tired. He’d had a great run and workout and was able to find a couple of familiar faces. It hadn’t been awful and he said he’d go back the next day so long as he could walk.
He was able to walk the next day and he was ready for more. The second day was tough as they ran about 6 miles, but he’d done his best and wasn’t last. He got in the car and said he was done with it but as we talked his mood lifted and he decided he would go back. Practice resumes Monday and he’ll be able to head to the track right after school in the afternoon. I can’t wait to see how this new sport pans out for him. I look forward to hearing about the trail runs and the friendships he’ll make and the experiences he’ll have.
I am super proud of that boy and I am hoping high school will be a great experience for him.
* I know I don’t post about him as often as the little kids but 1) he doesn’t want me posting about him and 2) he refuses to hang out with us most of the time because he’s 14 and that’s what it’s like to be 14. I try to respect the fact that he needs his autonomy and privacy but it sucks when I feel like I have to force him to do stuff with us.