Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Would Run 500 Miles-Running and Art

For the many parents of runners out there, here is a "plug" for all the hard work your kid has to do to compete in this rigorous sport.   Many do not realize that to be a runner, training is a year round process.  Although cross country season begins in the fall, the training in the months of May, June, July, and August, are crucial to a successful season.  Once cross country season ends, the kids have to get out there and hit the pavement again in January, to train for track season. 

On July 29, 2014, my son completed his 500 miles of running for his upcoming senior year of his cross country season.  Today is the one year anniversary of his 500th mile. 

You may ask, what would inspire a kid to run 500 miles?  Here's a story of Rob's running career.
When Rob started middle school, he decided that he did not enjoy playing football.  As parents, we knew that he needed to participate in some type of fall sport and understand the importance of being part of a team.  With a little arm twisting, we managed to get Rob to sign up for the junior varsity cross country team.
In 6th grade, Rob did pretty well in his new sport.  Coaches encouraged him during these years. He had one coach that told him to stop drinking soft drinks to enhance running.  So, Rob switched to water and Powerade to be the best he could be in his sport.
As he progressed through middle school, he became aware that he had found "IT".  He had found his niche.  By the 8th grade, Rob was able to obtain the junior varsity state championship for cross country.
During Rob's 9th grade year, he continued to excel.  The sophomore year was a somewhat disappointing and frustrating cross country season.  Track season was better due to Coach Chip Champion's intense training and dedication to Rob's running.  Rob was able to win 1st in the region in the 1600 meter run.
After much discussion, Rob decided to transfer to a school with a more established cross country team for his junior year.  Under the direction of Coach Brett Hardy, Rob's team was able to place 4th in the state.  Never had a team from Perry, Georgia, placed this high and been able to "make the stage" at state in the sport of cross country.
After running 500 miles, Rob's senior year started off with a poor showing due to bronchitis.  Once Rob recovered from his illness, he went on to being county champ, region champ, and was one of the top runners in the state of Georgia.  Hey, in cross country, it is not where you start, but where you finish that counts.

In thinking about that, I thought that I would share a little piece of artwork that evolved from Rob's running career.
For Father's Day 2015, Rob gave his dad a Nike shoe.  The shoe was a combination of important runs or races that he had conquered in his running career.  He had actually cut parts off of his Nike shoes and hot glued them all together to make one shoe.  Cool shoe art!
Notice the sharpie on the shoe?  That is actually Alan Webb's signature.  Who is Alan Webb?  He holds the American national record in the mile, with a time of 3:46.91. Webb represented the United States at the 2004 Summer Olympics in the men's 1500-meters race.
Rob and Alan Webb crossed paths here.  Fortunately, not running paths.

Here's the many shoes of Rob the runner. 
Below the 8th Grader wearing the red Nike shoe and winning the junior varsity state championship. (red Nike)
Rob's freshman year with Dad giving spirited encouragement! (green Nike)
Rob's 10th grade year running and winning the 1600 meter to claim region. (zebra shoe)
Rob's junior year running with his new team. (black shoe)

So, why did Rob decide to run 500 miles? 
Was it the many encouraging people?

Was it for the team?

 Was it so that he could encourage younger kids?
In the picture below, Rob had just finished his last race of his running career.  Do you suppose it was really just for the Coke?


Find your "IT", folks.
Work hard at IT.
Pass IT on.
And make a little art along the way.
The Proclaimers "I'm Gonna Be" (500 miles)


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