I bribe my runners. I don’t need to, but it’s fun, and they don’t act entitled, so I’ll keep doing it. In fact, they’d be spoiled if I implemented half of the ideas that come into my head.
My logic is pretty simple. If you enjoy something, you work harder at it. You get better at what you’re doing, which is rewarding (intrinsically), and then that spills into other things going on in your life. Like school work, and relationships, and getting better at being happy. So yes, I will continue to offer bribes that lead to happiness. Why wouldn’t I?
(Please excuse this nerd tangent, I’ll talk about the meet results in a sec.) I’m in the middle of designing a new cross country tee shirt and I wanted to know where the arrow in the logo comes from. I learned a bunch about the history of the sport, which dates back about 200 years ago when the game of Hare and Hounds was conceived. A group of runners (the Hares) would start out running, periodically dropping bits of paper that acted as the “scent”. After 10 minutes or so, another group of runners (the Hounds) would give chase, following the paper scent until the chase ended in the Hares finding safety, or being caught by the Hounds. These “hunts” would last for hours and miles and would not follow a determined course – they were literally cross country. Open fields, streams, fences, forests. Everything was fair game. These “Hunts” would take place in urban areas as well, but in place of paper, the Hares would use chalk or charcoal to draw arrows of where they ran and the Hounds had to follow. Hares and Hounds alike had so much fun that the game spread, clubs were formed, competitions organized, and it made it to the colleges and universities of the time. The sport continued to grow, going from England to the rest of the world. Eventually the courses, finish lines, and distances became more standardized, as well as team sizes and so forth. Of interest is that because courses can vary so much in difficulty, there aren’t any official world records for cross country. But, the feeling of hunting or being hunted is still palpable at the start and finish lines.
One indicator that my runners are enjoying themselves is that they are getting better. This week, Slader Beyer set a new PR by :53 seconds, and Kaden Olmstead came in :47 seconds under his previous meet – another steady and substantial improvement.
Ethan Sill also had a good race, crossing the finish line over his PR, sprinting to the end in his funky socks. (Not funky as in smell, but in looks. I have no personal experience in the former.)
William Kidder continues to anchor the team, coming in just a bit over his PR time.
Shameless recruiting to follow…
If you’re a boy, you’d be crazy to not join the Cross Country team and be teammates with a bunch of talented, funny, and bright young ladies and men. The girls out number the boys 2:1. Just sayin. We got room for a couple more boys if you think you can handle the funnest sport at school.
Also, on Monday, the day before the meet, our Shelby runners were introduced to their new racing uniforms. They look great, but I you have to catch glimpses of them when the boys (and girls) are standing poised with anticipation before the starting gun goes off, because after that, they turn into a blur. Like The Flash. Except not red/yellow… more like blackish. So does that make them like the Reverse Flash? I dunno… I’m a bit behind on my Flash binging… been too busy learning about rabbits, dogs, and the symbolism of the arrow.