Very – VERY proud of the young ladies and men on the Woodbridge High XC team – amid a invitational that hosts some of the best in the Delaware state, our runners ALL finished, even with alot of unplanned delays in the starts sometimes, enthusiasm. commitment, endurance – hilarity in the mix, and a beautiful backdrop for it all? – great to have one but you don’t see many that get a chance to experience it all.
We have many many areas for improvement and many many memories already to look back in a very young team – and we have MUCH to be thankful for. Thank you to the amazingly supportive parents (a beautiful tent, the constant support, the necessary bug spray, the contributions to the food bank) the committed and hard-working athletes (so much goes on behind the scenes that often is hard to connect to what happens until it happens on the course, but when the connection is made, everything changes), the supportive WHS community (excitement, comments, and enthusiasm for the start of a new team), as well as the community at large that keep cheering for the integrity and character of a newly forming team.
Many think XC is all abut the win and running and leave all else at the finish line. Years later looking back at the results of my first experiences along side greats like Coach Rob Perciful, Coach Vince and Jacqueline Rulon Morris, and now alongside Coach Havrilla, I realized, if you don’t have more than one aspect, the memories don’t mean as much.
I my years I STILL finding myself so serious at times and wanting more more more and better better better – and STILL need to pull myself back at times and go into a mode of letting it happen but slowly reinforcing the solidarity that comes with gratefulness – gratefulness for the athletes we have that bring enthusiasm, excitement, talent, energy, and a willingness to belong to something that enlarges and becomes larger than themselves.
We do have sit-down spaghetti dinners, we do laugh at silly car signs we use along the way to and from meets and gaining reactions of others, we do pack lunches and all contribute to those meals, and we do look back and wish at times we did more, and celebrate when some of us do more, but in the grander scheme of things, we are lucky to have the chance to do all of the above. In a time when individuals switch schools for the competition of the win over the stakes of belonging and being patient to form a group that grows together, I am proud to be among athletes and a group that also believes in the latter. The times I need to put that competitive push away to allow the other growing pains to work themselves out – they are bittersweet as I have learned over the years from perhaps some of the best instructors in the game.
We did see our top ladies grow and retain their competitive age, our middle and beginning ladies learn how competitive and see how the top athletes handle a course, and our middle boys learn what they need to continue to do to improve, and add all of those factors up, and you have a XC team that learns, grows, and succeeds together with the impressive support of parents, a school community, and state running community that no win could replace. Life is good.