Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Cross Country Dilemma

Before we get started, I could have sworn that "dilemma" was actually spelled "dilemNa" but if Google says I'm wrong, I must be wrong (and the longer I look at it, I know that I was wrong).  On to my self-indulgent ranting!  At some point after my kids' school started, I stopped being a runner and became an administrative coordinator.  Thanks to the political shenanigans of my lovely wife, I am now the cross country coach at my kids' school.  I'm in charge of around 113 kids (the number changes depending on the whimsical nature of kids who want to play with their friends after school and the other kids who want to quit because the coach is a psycho meanie-face) from grades K-8.  Thankfully I have a cadre of awesome volunteer assistant coaches to help me herd cats keep up with the kiddos. 

And while I love running with the kids, I have to admit I don't get to do enough of that.  Most of my time before and after practice is spent making sure that I have plenty of volunteers, that I know which kids have joined or quit, that I have emailed every parent with practice updates, and that I'm sufficiently stocked in forms, first aid kits, water, and cups.  The list of things that needs to get done between practices seems pretty endless and seriously cuts into my running/workout time.

Don't get me wrong...I actually am having a good time.  Since XC (that's how all the cool kids abbreviate it (my lovely wife thinks these are the same kids that spell dilemma with 2 m's)), my mileage has dropped significantly.  Between work, school and having a semi-normal life, I have not had a chance to get in all my training runs.  Worse for me is that I'm having such a good time running with the kids that I want to run all the time.  They're really inspiring when they push themselves hard and suck it up so it doesn't look like they want to quit, even though they're pretty wiped.  Even better is that some of them seem to actually enjoy it!  I miss that feeling sometimes when I'm trying to slog through the hard miles, but when I run with my kids, sometimes I touch that feeling of joy and fun again for the briefest of moments.  And you know what...that is pretty cool.

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