Monday, April 07, 2008


Track season just ended this year, and I was a bit more involved this year than in other years. It was fun because it brought back a lot of memories about track, track season, OFF season training and our coach.

Coach Cunningham was a very patient person. He had to be, he was working with a bunch of high school girls. He always said he had to work us hard because he didn't have any thoroughbreds. He only had work horses. He had a way of saying things like that, and we knew exactly what he meant. No offense was taken.

Hard work included running endless 200's. That's half a track, for those who don't know, and it's a long way. Well, it's long when you have to keep sprinting them over and over again. We would sprint the 200, walk across the field over to the starting line, wait for Coach to yell "REEEADY" and we were to step up to the mark and sprint again. One day we had had enough. We determined on the walk over to the starting line that we were going to play deaf. He yelled ready, and no one moved. (It had to be a group effort, mind you.) Another "REEEADY" and still none of us moved, though we were getting a little anxious. Finally, he yelled, "PRETTY PLEASE REEEADY!!!" and that was it. We were no longer deaf because we were all laughing. Needless to say we had to walk to the line and run our sprints.

We had very few track meets on our own track, because it was just a gravel track. But we finally hosted a meet, and it didn't turn out to great for us sprinters. We had run the 400 relay in practice and ran a pretty slow 54 second time. We were expecting better than that the next day at the meet, because you just run faster times when your adrenalin is pumping. So we ran at the meet, and we had aweful times. 55 seconds! It was even slower than practice! We were standing together and he walked up and said, "Be here at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning." and walked away. That was a Saturday morning! We all arrived the next day, and knew we were in for trouble when we saw that he had his "I'd rather be fishin'" hat on. It was a rough workout.

There are so many more memories of track, off season, and Coach Cunningham. He used to say, "I won't ever ask you to do anything I think you can't do." and I believed him completely. If he asked me to do something, it meant I could do it. Period.

Of all of my times in high school: cheerleading, homecomings, drill name it, I think I learned the most from track. It was a great experience. And even though I was just an average sprinter, I'm glad I did it.

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