Cross Country is a fabulous sport. No matter your skill level you get to compete. You compete for your team but also for your personal best.
Kelli is in cross country and Monday night she was able to participate in a huge meet close to home.
It was well-organized chaos. Cars everywhere. Shuttle buses taking people from the parking field to the golf course. Ticket takers and lines at the johnny-on-the-spots. People everywhere.
Buses from all over the state. Runners decked out in all the colors of the rainbow. As I walked in I could feel the excitement, touch the energy.
I walked and looked for Kelli's team. I finally found them.
Black and red was the key. It took me a while to find Kelli but suddenly there she was.
This picture doesn't completely tell the story. All the energy and excitement I felt when I arrived was gone, like a punch to the gut, when I saw Kelli. She was nervous, extremely so, almost to the point of sick. My heart fell to my feet. I couldn't do anything to help. She was going to have to do this all by herself. I stood there with her for a few minutes taking in her view. Runners from all over the state running by, warming up, showing off. Her teammates were loud, cagey, only adding to the tenseness of the situation. I could hear Kelli ask herself "Can I do this? Am I going to be last? Am I going to get trampled at the starting line?"
Kelli is a determination machine. I knew she'd be fine. I knew she'd get the job done, she always does. I knew she wouldn't be the first one across the finish line but I knew she would cross it. I tried to talk to her but I could tell my words were wasted, so I left her alone to figure this one out on her own. I knew she would.
Farmer Boy left work early and met me at the starting line. We stood behind the tape, held our breath and waited for the gun.
After the starting blast runners were everywhere. A horde of colors coming at us. Where was Kels? She was in there somewhere but we couldn't see her. We joined the parent throng and ran to the next place on the course where we'd be able to cheer our determination machine on to the finish.
"Go Kelli! You got it. Stay strong. You're almost there."
Look at her face, she's spewing out determination. She just passed that girl. Go Kels!
She did it. She crossed that line. She got her best time of this season.
Fabulous. My girl.