PASSING OVER THE TORCH
When my daughter came to me back in July and told me she wanted to run Cross Country in high school, I was SHOCKED! Inside my heart sang and my belly danced with excitement.  Yet, I calmly looked at her and said. . ."ok, if that is what you want to do, I will support you".  I wanted scream out loud and hug her!  I wanted to immediately tell her what to do, what gear we needed to buy and how she should prepare for her first race but I digressed and remained calm until she came to me.

When she was 7 years old, we tried youth track and field.  She liked the fact that I was coaching her but she didn't like the way the other coaches talked and treated the runners.  They were pretty hard core and she was not use to that kind of treatment.  She just wanted to have fun and from that experience, she stayed away from running for quite some time.  Yet, 4 years later, I knew that running was definitely her sport. When attending her soccer games her speed and endurance was amazing on the field and I could easily see her running a 800 meter race with no problems at all.  Again, I never said a word because I knew how she felt about running at the time and especially track and field.

This past weekend, I handed the running crown to her and it was a great feeling! I knew that when she joined us on our long training run, it was going to be fast.  I didn't care because I was going to maintain my pace.  Hey, there is a 27 year difference between the two of us I am not blind and stupid.  We had just completed our first mile and was getting ready to hit our first hill when she looked back and smiled. . .my running partner looked at me and just said "really?".  She took off leaving us behind and trotting along the trails of Northern San Diego without a care in the world.  Needless to say, she worked us.

What is so great about watching her, as well as other girls and boys her age is watching the "rawness" of running.  Their form is off, the kids do not take themselves too seriously, it's carefree and they can just go, go and go until you tell them to stop.  Youth in motion is a beautiful thing.  Do I miss it? Ah, well, sometimes but not really.  I like where I am right now and feel pretty good.  Being able to watch the process is a lot better than being the process!

One of my weaknesses when I was younger and competed. . .I hated competition.  You read it right. . .I hated it! The trash talking, your opponent staring you down and doing things just to get into your head.  I thought it was ridiculous and I just wanted everyone to get along.  I knew who I had to beat and I knew what times I had to run and that was it!  As an older runner, I am still that same person.  It was great to see my daughter do so well, beat me in my long training run and smile from ear to ear because she loves running so much.  So, I will NOT be competing with her, I will gladly pass the torch over to her and let her shine in a sport that we both now love. . .together!