The Bulldog Invitational Cross Country Meet was held last week at Bell Park. I volunteered to standby as a medical first responder. There were a few twisted ankles, which is to be expected, and a few students overcome by the heat of the day.
I ran on the cross country team when I was in high school and I don’t recall anyone going down from heat exhaustion or dehydration. We drank Gatorade and ate junk food. This was the early 90’s and the idea of bottled water was a joke; in fact I don’t think we took water with us at all.
So why did so many have to drop out of the race last week? Well there were a couple of reasons I think, this is an opinion column after all. First of all it was 4 o’clock in the afternoon and by that time it was in the upper 90’s. All of our meets were at 8 o’clock in the morning and it was nice and cool.
Also it was 25 years ago back when it use to be cool in October. Remember that? I have pictures of me at the State Fair from back then where I was wearing my letterman jacket. How long has it been since you needed a jacket in September? I bought a sweatshirt in San Francisco earlier this year and it has yet to be cool enough for me to wear it even in the morning. I digress.
Also at the meet last week there were hundreds of kids and parents that showed up. Each school had their own tent where they would hang out while they were waiting for their race. We used to find a tree and that was where we would put our stuff; also there were no parents at our meets just students and coaches. I would say that I am a bit jealous, but I think we had more fun than they were having.
I used to tell my son Eric how much I loved being on the cross country team in high school and about all the crazy things we used to do and so when he started his freshman year he signed up. Two weeks later when I picked him up from school after cross country practice he slumped into the car covered in sweat and said, “You lied to me. You said this is was fun. I hate running.”
To his credit Eric did not quit the team but finished the season out. I did not make him. He is a better person than I am for sure.