Thursday, August 24, 2006

hell hath no fury . . .

We have taken to telling stories as we run. At first it was an unconscious action on my part, as I used our run to relay tales of the day that for whatever reason had come to my mind at the time. When I realized it was becoming a habit, however, I became intentional about it, as it seemed to be an appropriate way to both bond as a team and to engage them in a way that distracts from the physical woes of exhaustion, heat, aches, and pains. So now I hint about the stories of the day before we begin and then tell full, drawn-out tales as we run—I also invite each girl to tell her own that may come to mind.
Yesterday one of my runners admitted that she had a story to tell. Rethinking by the time we started practice, she said that no, actually she was too embarrassed to tell everyone. Further into the run her asthma forced her to take a walking break, at which point I stopped to check on and then walk with her. Curious, I mentioned her story again and she said that she just didn’t want her peers to know—yet. She suspected that it would get around soon enough . . .
Turns out she had lost her patience with one of her peers that day in gym class. They were playing ball and she had grown uncharacteristically impatient in the heat of the competitive moment. After a series of affronts, he got on her last nerve and she [having never before done such a thing], without thinking, just reached over and relieved him of his shorts. It shocked her, I think, more than anyone else, at the time. A moment of confusion passed before he shouted a threat of telling the headmaster.
So here she was, at the end of the day, fearing the moment in which she would be summoned to the principal’s office. Clearly shocked at herself, she assured me that she didn’t mean to do it, and that she had never been disobedient. And now she worried that her “spotless” high school record would be ruined forever . . .I laughed, and assured her that I did not think she had anything to worry about. In fact, I suspected that the headmaster would also be a bit amused by it. There may need to be some sort of disciplinary action taken, for appearances sake, but I really did not think she had to worry about her future. What I did not tell her is that I am secretly rather proud of my girl’s gutsy spontaneity :-)

3 comments:

Julia said...

Your adventures in coaching cross country are yielding some hilarious stories so far. But I have to say, the most remarkable thing for me is the idea of being able to run and talk at the same time.

kel said...

That's a hoot! Thanks for a good laugh.

anna j said...

Hey, don't thank me--thank my ever-amusing young runners. Seriously, though, I do give thanks each day for the ways they take me out of my often-too-serious work self :-)