Track and Field day can feel rather crazy. There are over 400 5th graders “crazed” inside the university field house. They zip around like ants who have lost their ant hill scurrying and hurrying in all directions. Looking like they have a destination in mind and then they zip in a completely different direction for no visible reason.
It is loud. All these voices, the start gun, the cheering make my head throb.
Students LOVE this day. It is “their” Olympics. Most are like the Jamaican bobsled team and know there is no chance of winning but are thrilled to compete. A select few, and they know who they are, are the contenders. Their PE teachers have had them running in the gym during recess all year. They have an internal drive to win and external pressure to succeed as well. Their second place overall is a bigger loss than the 4th place runner of their contending heat. Their victory is everyone’s victory, their defeat, their own.
My favorite part of the day came as we walked to the awards ceremony. One of my “bobsled athletes” had only competed in long jump. He was so excited at his attempts. “I had a great one, but, unfortunately, that one I scratched. I think I might get 3rd or something though.” He had no idea that the “contenders” had already compared distances and knew their standings. After the winners were called without distances announced, my Olympian said, “Huh, they must have had a few extra inches than me. I wish I hadn’t scratched.” I am so thrilled for him in his joy of the day. How wonderful to be happy with your best effort regardless of ranking.
My second place “contender” went home in tears. There were no words to cheer her for her success.
I hope to live my life knowing I have given my best and that is success.