I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Indoor Long Minutes

I had never been to an indoor track meet but I was warned that it was incredibly boring especially when you sit there for hours waiting for your child to run for a whole 6 (or 7 or 8) minutes.

That was my mission on Friday. I was going to watch my daughter compete in indoor track at West Point.

She was lacking confidence. The night before the meet she told me that she expected to come in last, not only that she was only 1 of 4 girls in her team competing but her workout that day, Thursday, had been harder than what it should have been a day before competition.

I had already watched her finish last one time. She had competed with a cold in a faster heat than what she was capable of. There were no comforting words to offer that day as I watched her struggle way behind the last girl.

So I was prepared. I sat in a crowded bench with parents eating hot dogs and chewing loudly in my ear. She spotted me and her greeting let me know how much she appreciated my being there “what are you doing here???” I ignored her, after a while parents get good at that.

Her coach came over and told me she was very nervous and he still didn’t know who her competition was. I guessed he was trying to let her know ahead of time who she was going to lose against. I expected that to be the whole heat.

So finally it was her time. I tried to start my watch only to notice I was wearing my dress watch. Thank God for technology, I used the stopwatch on my cell while I also used it to take blurry pictures of my child losing to her competition.

Gun went off with her being last in the first lap (indoor track is 7 laps to a 1500). At her 2nd lap she was holding 4th place. Her coach leaned over and said “I hope you got a good picture because she is not going to look that pretty in few laps, she went out way too fast”.

I don’t remember minutes being as long as they were that night. I watched the seconds move slowly waiting for her to be passed by all girls in the competition. Then it happened. 200 meters to the finish she moved to third place and then went after the 2nd place losing to her by one second.

I clocked her at 5.51 for 1500. No doubt a very slow time for champions but the best she is ever done! I was as proud as one parent can be.

Tati had to compete in the 600’s again that night but I had to miss it. I was going to watch another kid I knew who was also making a bunch of people proud.

Being a parent is really neat.