Caren Ware's Blog

July 2, 2010

Runs in the Family!

Filed under: A Runner's Story,track and field,Women Running — Caren Ware @ 8:25 am

 I did a track workout today.   

Number ONE in my book!

 

That part of me that cannot decide whether to have Tibetan food or Thai food…so I order a dish of both from two separate restaurants… does the same with activities and travel.  I am leaving for Nationals in Track & Field held in Sacramento on July 20-24 to compete in the Outdoor Pentathlon, 2000m Steeple, and the 400m hurdles.  AND then I am  jumping on a plane July 26 to head to Australia and the OUTBACK MARATHON.  Whoa. 

That is a coach’s nightmare, combining training for speed and turn over with endurance and mileage.  I have been  running on the masters track circuit at a world level for years.  Yet, I am tiring of the intensity and realizing I could use a dose of people connecting skills (as came up in my exit interview from the Improv instructor and  the reprimand from the live casting director pumping me for more warmth in my camera projections at our last Intro to commercials.) Track takes internal focus; the blocking out of sound, even color.  It takes  trained in drive to cooly overtake and annihilate your competitors.  It takes a WANT to win. It takes hard-core fitness training, skill development, and some workouts that plainly and  intensely hurt.  A different kind of hurt than the ebbs and flows of long mileage. A different kind of breed of a person.  Not all bad.  In fact, full of character. 

So I took myself to the track and geared up for a boxing match of my will.  To run this intensely or nawh. The day was breathtakingly beautiful.  The Rim of the World High School track is on Hwy 18 and lives up to its name.  It is nestled on a perch that overlooks almost all of Southern California.  Clear days allow long distance views of  LA and Century City high rises and even Catalina Island.  When we moved up here my son was 5 years old.  He looked over and swung a comment back at me in distrust, ” I thought you said the world was ROUND!”  He could see the world from here and it was a long ,straight, and FLAT horizon.  His eyes questioned mine. 

I get this almost 6,000 foot training ground very virtually to myself on the off-season.  I gave many years to coaching and even head coaching the High School Track team.  That makes this rubber surface bounce back good memories.  A lot of the kids came home from colleges for the summer and it is worth smiling about.  There is something kin about , “hey, coach, remember me? How’s it going.”  Course I remember you.  You just look like an established young adult now. 

So as I park I am feeling a little in grapple over the importance and place that track should play in my middle-aged life.  I arrive to see that there is someone using the track.  They are putting spikes in a bag and coming off of a workout.  It is a young man.  A VERY YOUNG MAN with his dad and sister.  I can tell by the body movements that the dad is vested in the pursuits of his son.  Not overly vested, but attentively coaching him.  Warming him down…assuring that he enjoys his track experience.  What in me thinks that is one of the  grandest gifts someone might give a young person?  Exposing  something they are good at and then giving them an  arena to joyfully excel and take it to the top.  I feel this way not only on the track, but when my gifted daughter nails a stage performed song or when my son became an Eagle Scout at age 13. 

So I had to meet and greet whomever these ‘tracksters’ were.  Gary Bryant Jr., a calm and confident 9-year-old is on his way to the Junior Olympics in the 800 and 1500!  His dad drove him all the way up from Moreno Valley to train at elevation.  He will be competing in Sacramento in July weeks prior to the Master’s  Nationals on the same track. He has gained a new fan. I was so filled what track was offering this young man.  And  I was instantly confident that track has something that I am thankful to be a part of.  It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it certainly  is mine.  This little guy has the look and poise to take it to the top.  He also has a winning combination.  His mom is a hurdle coach and was a junior Olympian.  His dad is one of his coaches and also was a junior Olympian.  Somehow, they have instilled in Gary Bryant Jr. that, why not go for it. “I am just doing my best,” he says.  I believe him. 

Hope his family doesn’t mind, but just want to pass along that Gary Bryant Jr. is washing cars to earn enough money to go to the Junior Olympics.  You may want to help him out.  I only have his dad’s cell number.  Give them a call.  951 269 1457. 

Junior Olympian Gary Bryant

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