Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Tradition: Watching Sports

I grew up in a family with a handful of children and we were encouraged to participate in all sorts of activities. Community service, sports, religion, music, fine arts and we all took advantage of these opportunities to some extent. This means I went to many of my own piano recitals and recitals for my siblings. I’ll be honest playing piano in front of people was awesome, I loved it, I was nervous, but confident and I remember attending state something or other (invitational maybe?) where I played Jungle River Flowing and thought it no more difficult than getting up to give a talk, speech or presentation. I loved it. I was a horrible spectator at similar piano recitals where my sisters were performing, but I attended because that was all part of being in my family.

Sports are another story. I played t-ball, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse and even did track for a bit. I was bad. I was not good, I was not average I was bad. I lacked (and still do) any and all grace and while I conceptually understood what is required to shoot a lay-up left handed there was no amount of practice that made it a reality. Even with my lack of skills I had fun playing sports and being active. I had even more fun watching those games that I didn’t play in. I could cheer for my little sister swimming the length of an Olympic sized pool for the first time and have more fun that swimming that length myself. I can absolutely watch football for an entire day every week, I can enjoy baseball for 9 months of the year and the Olympics are awesome. I am a natural spectator and I am good at it.

Last week my friend had a last minute ticket to the Patriots vs. Bills game. I jumped at the chance to attend my very first regular season NFL game. I had tons of fun and while it was a bit windy it wasn’t bad weather for football. When my dad was here last May we went into Boston to watch the Boston Marathon*. It was awesome! So after my dismal performance at the Race for the Cure last weekend I decided I am going to take a break from participating in races and go back to my real calling as a spectator.

I didn’t have to wait long. Jim decided that he wanted to run another race soon and by soon he meant Saturday. I gladly tagged along to watch. It was a small, local race that zigzagged through a local community college campus, a neighboring road and a connecting trail.

My only complaint is that the race wasn’t chipped so while times were close to “true” they weren’t exact. This means that Jim’s time was about a second slower than what I timed. I wouldn't expect them to chip such a small event, but maybe if it gets bigger. The event was very well organized; in fact it almost felt like there were as many volunteers as racers. Even with such a small race Jim got a little goodie bag with coupons and the like.

*If you are in a big race put your name on your arm, your leg, your shirt, whatever. The spectators want to cheer for everyone, but they often only know the name of the person they are specifically there for, give them some help.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Great comment about putting your name on arm or shirt. It really does make a difference when people call out your name when running a long race. Sometimes spectators really make a difference getting you thru a tough spot in the run. Which is similar to life. You never know when your comment will help a person over a rough patch in their life.