I’ll start with the non-sweaty part of the story.
We were at our lunch stop on the way home from our cross country meet in Hemet. Unlike last week, when we didn’t get home until after 9:00, this was a smaller, earlier, faster meet, so it was really too early for lunch. Instead, Alan and I walked to Starbucks, which was also the choice of about 10 of our team.
As we were drinking our iced coffees, a young man walked up to Alan and shook his hand, asking how he was doing. I didn’t recognize him at first, until Alan introduced us. It was WBO Welterweight Champion Tim Bradley! He is from the Coachella Valley, and I had, in fact, met him before because he used to coach cross country for one of our rivals. He won his title in a controversial split decision last June over Manny Pacquiao. Most importantly, he is also the subject of my most read and searched-for blog post of all time. Seriously, on the night of the fight, that post, which was about his vegan training diet and was over three months old at the time, spiked my pageviews to a record high for one day.
Tim Bradley is well know locally for being a nice guy. A man who loves his wife and family, who still coaches, who cares about kids and wants to help them grow up to lead successful and happy lives. An ordinary guy who is suddenly living an extraordinary life. He proved some of that on Saturday, when he spent about 15 minutes talking to the team. As a former cross country coach, he was knowledgeable about the sport and asked them how their meet went, if they were happy with their performance and their times.
He also asked about Palm Desert High School itself. His son is in seventh grade, and he is considering sending him to our school when the time comes. He spoke to several of the boys, asking about the quality of the teaching. Surprisingly though, it was the girls who grabbed the opportunity to pose with the champ.
Of course, Alan and I didn’t pass on our opportunity either.
A friendly, classy guy. I was actually shocked when, researching for this post I found his facebook page and saw the nasty things that people write there. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, considering how people these days seem to think the internet is an appropriate place to spew any nasty thought that enters their mind. And, I can note that most of the postings were the fairly illiterate rantings of the fanatic. But still, it saddened me. Basically, I’m not a boxing fan (at all!), but I know a nice guy when I meet one.
On to the sweaty part of this Saturday, our cross country meet at the Hemet Bulldog Invitational. We finally had cool weather! After our league meet last Wednesday (102 at race time), and even our invitational meet in San Diego last week (104), where we usually go for relief, we finally had running-perfect weather. It was cloudy and about 75 when we started racing, warming up as the morning went on, but keeping the cloud cover. Almost chilly for us desert rats!
I had a little talk with my girls before the race. I just knew they were going to surprise themselves and I told them so. Their training, the cooler weather, the course, would all add up to some personal records. My lead runner, who holds the school record in the 400m, is a good steady runner. I told her that this would be the day that she would break 20 minutes. She looked doubtful, but I really believed it. A few of the other girls tend to hold back too much at the beginning and I told them to push themselves a little more. If you save it all until the end, it may be too late.
Whether it was my talk or those cute new shoes, our girl, #4560, finished is 19:41. PR! Actually, it was all her talent and hard training. Congratulations!
Fifty seconds off her time from last meet (which was a minute faster than her previous meet!).
Fifty one seconds off her time from last week.
Taryn, on the right, has taken more than four minutes off the time from her first race this season. Acacia, on the left, was sick and still managed to take off :22 from last weeks race.
Ana, #4574, ran 1:20 faster than at the meet on Wednesday. All told, the girls took 6:44 off their time from our league meet. Pretty awesome, huh? Of course, the league meets are what count, but this just shows that continued training, hard effort, and cool weather will pay off.
Speaking of cool weather, we don’t have it in the desert yet. After our meet we came home, on the first day of autumn, to cloudy skies and 105 degrees. This is when we start to say, “when will it be over?”
So, how is your weekend going? Chances are, your first day of fall was cooler than ours, were you outside enjoying it?