Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mr. Grant

Day 8, Sept. 12, 2013

I had a cross country coach in high school who was totally insane.  His name was Mr. Grant, and he would shriek at the top of his lungs while running along side us during the meets.  He would pop up along the course shrieking and gesticulating wildly.  And this was mellow compared to his finish line behavior.  At the finish line he was just plain insane until all of his runners had crossed the line, at which point he would shout out his congratulations for what always seemed like an endless amount of time.

One distinct memory I have of Mr. Grant was my very first day of practice my freshman year.  He sent the team on a three mile run, which for me was doable, but intimidating. Somehow, I ended up alone in front of the pack and when Mr. Grant came upon me on his bike (he hadn't been following us, but was meeting us somewhere in the middle of the run,) I had stopped to walk. I thought he was going to say, good job, front runner, but instead he said, "never walk. Slow down if you have to and concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other."  That was it, and he took off to find the rest of the team.  I was sort of flabbergasted. I just kept running and tried to watch my feet one after the other.

Not surprisingly , this is the advice that comes to me on a regular basis.  No matter if I'm actually running, or just pissed at how my day is going.  It goes along with my other favorite mantra, "don't think about tomorrow until tomorrow."  The thing is, Mr. Grant has no idea that what he said to me is still in there.  He was fired after one year for being a nut ball.  I mean, he was so crazy that the team, the parents, the other teams at the meets, everyone was uncomfortable.  We the runners were freaked out to be associated with him.  We were also fourteen years old and not very accepting of anything beyond cute and nice.

The truth is though, that I secretly loved Mr. Grant.  I never spoke this out loud. I thought he was a fine coach and it didn't really matter to me if he was insane or not. Kind of like how it doesn't really matter to me if my kids brush their hair or eat food that's been dropped on the floor. I try not to say this out loud either (too late,) and I try to present my kids to the public well enough. I don't know.  Sometimes I feel out of place, like I should agree that a crazy man doesn't make a good cross country coach and I should be more vigilant about my kids and their gross habits.  I guess its a good thing that they have their dad in their lives. He's a very moderating, sensible influence on all of us! (He is right now rolling his eyes:))

Cups and Bags Challenge Update: One more email today!  We're up to 3 reusable cups used!


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