A New Middle School Record

For the last three days I have pondered how I can write about this without sounding like a typical bragging grandpa. So let me just own this— “I am very, very proud of all my grandkids”. This week something happened with one of them that completely surprised me.

My daughter Amy’s daughter Zoe, decided to go out for the Granbury Middle School track team. If there is one thing I never did, it was attempt to be on the track team. I was blessed with some physical gifts, speed was not one of them. I won the softball throw in 6th grade field day. I did barely finish the required mile run in just under eight minutes in 9th grade. From 1978-83 I became a serious 40 mile a week runner. I have one marathon under by belt and I now have the knees to prove it. I remember thinking when I heard that Zoe was going out for track, “I wonder what events she will specialize in”. Last week Amy called to tell me that she finished sixth in the 400 meter.

My understanding about running the 400 meter is that it is a really tough race. Basically, it requires sprinting for a whole lap. “No thank you”. Then Amy told me that her coach wanted her to run the mile. “Has she ever run the mile?” “In practice, she is going to run it this next week in their meet.” So, I get this text with a picture this past Wednesday that Zoe not only ran the mile, but set her middle school girl’s record. “WHAAAATTTT you’re kidding me?” “No I am not Dad, six minutes and 28 seconds”.

I think the best part of this is that, this is not anything that any of Zoe’s family saw coming. Certainly not me. She is a great young kid. She is musical, artistic, and a natural leader but track star??? I talked with her that night about the race. It was obvious to me that I was a whole lot more excited about this feat than she was. I guess that is my job. The best parts of life for me are when unexpected gifts just show up.

Somewhere in the archives of family photos, newspaper clippings and old report cards, is a picture of my dad running the low hurdles. He placed third in that particular meet for Palmer High in Colorado Springs. I don’t know if his grandparents even knew that he ran. An even more impressive clipping was the one that announced that in my dad’s senior year, he and a buddy were the first two people to summit Pike’s Peak in the Spring of 1940. Believe it or not, it was April and they went up in tennis shoes.

I think it was a good thing that I had a great arm and slow legs.

Onward and Upward,


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