Sunday, April 10, 2016

Sprinting Towards Spring

We are well into April and Spring continues to be "just around the corner." Friday we had an all day snow, mostly just flurries, but maddeningly hard at times. When Donna and I went out for coffee yesterday morning, I actually warmed up the van as I scraped the windows.

In April.

Warmed up the car.

Cabin fever is setting in with a vengeance as a result of all of this uncomfortably cool weather. I am still wearing fleece around the house and keep threatening to take my bike out of the basement storage for the year. It's not a full fledged depression yet, but there is a certain snarl to people in our circles around here.

Yesterday was cool as well, with temps in the thirties and light winds. The sun was out however, and sometimes that makes all the difference. I know it did for me yesterday.
Carroll Track and Field Facility

Carroll University, which is right across the street from my house was hosting an NCAA track meet all day. When I returned from my usual Saturday writing stint at the library, I decided to take in a little bit of the track meet. Carroll recently completed construction of a viewing pavilion that overlooks the Track and Field area so I thought I'd check it out from there.

It was actually a good perch to watch all the events unfold simultaneously. At any one time there was a footrace, a javelin throw and the discus event going on. I tell you you get a whole different respect for these athletes as they scream by you at top speed in the shorter races. Then, just when you think that is impressive, you see the women come out and run the 5000 Meter race, 10 laps around the track.

Some of my observations:


  1. There was one discus thrower that routinely threw his disc 15 yards farther than everyone else. He was a beast. (I think he threw for Ripon College.) In the video above you'll see the crowd of measurement judges part like the Red Sea when his disc comes flying their direction. He was a man among boys, the Michael Phelps of Discus.
  2. At one point during the 5000 meter women's race, I noticed a woman running with her long hair flying everywhere. Everyone else had pony tails in, except her. Then I heard one of her teammates standing near me, "That's has to suck when you lose your ponytail thing." That explained the flowing locks.
  3. The javelin is an interesting sport, as is the discus. I suppose there was a day thousands of years ago when throwing a spear a long distance was an beneficial skill to have in your quiver - to use a fitting metaphor. I guess that's part of the appeal of the Summer Olympics and the decathlon events. Such a diverse skill set and talents.
  4. I saw a couple of pole vault attempts. Again a skill set that might have been more necessary in the days of the early Greeks.
  5. People need to stay away from crossing the track during foot races.
I am a  little sorry I didn't get to see any of the high jump, as that was my event in high school. I also did the Triple Jump and Long Jump in high school. I always wanted to be a pole vaulter. My step brother Patrick was one of the best and for a long time held the school record of 12 feet or so. He was fun to watch. 

Me, center in dark jersey, 1976

I never pursued track past my freshman year and kind of wish I had. The great thing about it, like swimming and other individual sports, is that you are competing both against yourself and your opponents. It's all about personal bests. 

The best part about watching the events was just soaking in the sun. The whole event gave me hope that spring will come soon. 

Well, one can hope.

Blogging off...

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