Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Track Season, in a word: Disappointment

Brandon is a really fast kid and has six medals from the Iowa High School State Track Meet to prove it.
He runs the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400. Track is his best sport, and Byron and I love to watch him run!

(Someone asked me once if he got his speed from me. I almost fell on the floor in laughter. I'll just say that his dad ran a lot of track in high school, and I didn't.)

Brandon got to run at state his first three years of high school...and hoped to be a four-year state track runner.

This year's track season began April 5, with a long and cold meet that lasted until 10:00 pm--just like the three years prior. Then things took a bad turn. Due to a cold, wet spring, the second meet was cancelled... and the fourth, and the fifth, and the sixth. Our boys track team didn't run in a meet for 16 days. There were only 10 meets for the entire season and four had been cancelled.

When the weather improved, we had two weeks/four meets until the district meet where they would run to qualify for state. There was so much to figure out and only 4 meets to do it. They hadn't even settled on the relay team combinations, since they had only had two meets to test them.

During the time of the cancelled meets, Brandon continued to work hard. He planned extra workouts for the weekends. He worked harder than the previous three years, knowing it was his last hurrah and wanting to be in the best condition he could be.

It all went south during track meet number eight, on May 3rd, nine days before the district meet.
As he ran his first race of the meet, he tore his hamstring while rounding the curve and stumbled off into the grass. It was heartbreaking to watch. And, it was over. This injury ended his high school track career.
We were stunned, because he'd never had anything like this happen. In a second, it was over. It felt like the season had barely started!

He has spent the past two weeks going to physical therapy, which has helped him regain his ability to put on his own shoes and socks and walk without a limp. Running hasn't even been on the radar. The boys track team didn't do so well at the district meet.  Ballard boys track is only sending one kid to state--the shot/discus thrower. Quite a change from previous years when 3-5 relay teams made it.

Attending the remaining track meets of this season has been different: never yelling my son's name,  cheering on the others, and reminiscing about last year.

I've been wishing for a new set of senior year track pictures to print...  I even bought a new camera lens for the track season, but it didn't get much action.

I had this poster made for his graduation party, from his freshman year at state. Somehow it cheered me.

Brandon has had a great attitude. In spite of the huge disappointment, he has kept his chin up and a smile on his face. I'm so proud of him. It would be easy to go down the path of how unlucky this seems: injury during your senior year. We are choosing to focus on how fortunate he has been to get to run at state three times. We have awesome memories!

Thursday starts the Iowa High School State Track Meet and we'll be there to cheer. (We are happy that some friends from the girls team will be running!) It will be strange to have Brandon in the seats next to us. We'll just be making a different kind of memory, and possibly wiping a tear or two.

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