Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Coach Dog says thanks, kids

The Mighty Mighty St. Paul Cross-Country Club.

It's Thanksgiving Eve. (Is that even a Thing?) I'm thinking about how Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday, with lots of food and relaxation but without all the pressure of Christmas. (Yes, I'm a twentieth-century-never-learned-how-to-cook slob; at least on Thanksgiving, unlike on Chuseok in Korea, the women, after fixing all the food, can eat with the men.)

The holidays are the hardest time to be away from your family and country.

Today, I called a halt to Cross-Country Club till spring. I'll be running all winter, but it's getting pretty cold and pretty dark pretty early and I wanted to stop before the kids get run over on the way back to school or, worse, quit. I loved actual cross-country coaching more than anything else I've ever been paid for; I lived for those fall days and mourned when each season was over. (This is a shout-out to all those Flashes and Jackets I helped coach... I love you guys!) :: sniff ::

This has hardly been the same; we've just gone out twice a week to the park and the stream and all but a couple of the kids have run a few minutes and walked and talked for a half-hour each day. Korean girls seem to think that running makes women muscle-bound. (Koreans also widely believe that your blood type determines your personality, getting rained on makes your hair fall out, and sleeping in a closed room with a fan on will kill you.)

I'll miss it, though... they're good kids and I like to think I (or the experience) helped them somehow. Maybe in the spring more of them will see how running can enrich their lives. If not, that's okay, too.

Meanwhile, I'm thankful for Monica, Stephanie, Susie, Ecllid, Leo the Swift, Yuri, and little Christina and Kelly (who hold hands everywhere they go-- sometimes while running), and for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

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