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Circle of Death: A Guide to Surviving Track Meets

April 17, 2012

courtesy of couple of months ago, my middle son came to me and informed me he was joining the Jr. High track team. I was flabbergasted because he’d never shown any interest in track events and as a matter of fact, seemed genuinely disinterested in sports of any kind for a couple of years. Yet, I decided to support him in this new endeavor because I’d much rather have him running around and getting some exercise than sitting like a zombie in front of the PS3 and playing Call of Duty with middle aged strangers who may or may not be trying to lure him into getting on a bus and meeting them in Omaha. Or something like that.

So last week, I went to my first track meet. First off, it was at a school that I’d never been to in an adjacent county. No problem, I thought, I’ll just put the address in the GPS and drive. I didn’t consider that this school was in Podunk and might not be in the system. I also forgot that I’m the only person I know who can actually still get lost while using a GPS. If Maggie (my GPS system) were a human, she’d probably wish she had a dime for every time she had to say “Please make a legal U-turn.” Anyway, the school wasn’t in my GPS and after several shout-outs from Maggie to make legal U-turns I eventually stumbled upon the school. Thank God, there were only about 5 streets in the town or I’d probably still be trying to find it.

After getting to the school and finding my kid at the humongous track complex, I was dismayed to find that there were no bleachers to sit on if your kid is doing the field events. So I had to stand around for a LONG time. Like over 2 hours – just to watch my kid do his thing for about one minute. To make matters worse, it was one of those tricky days where you think it’s warm but after you’re outside for a little while you realize it’s fucking cold. There’s only one thing I hate more than standing around doing nothing and that’s standing around doing nothing while freezing half to death.

Armed with this knowledge, I went prepared yesterday. I took a chair, a jacket, my iPad, and a magazine just to be safe. The sun was too bright for me to see my iPad screen and it was too windy to read the magazine. And my cell data connection was moving like pond water so I couldn’t even hardly Facebook or play Words with Friends. So I just watched my surroundings and I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.

With a few of exceptions, I think the track meet is simply a social event for kids. My son seemed more interested in talking to girls than his event. Maybe this is why they call it a “meet.” I also learned that I should ask my kid before the meet which events he will be participating in before he gets started. This way, I won’t sit there for an hour waiting to watch him in an event he’s not even participating in. And thanks to a coach from another school, I learned the shot put should be “flicked like a booger” and you should always have someone “shagging for you” during the discus. I’m not sure I want any more explanation on those last two things.

Most importantly though, I learned that my hairspray can withstand 30 MPH winds for two hours and maintain fabulous looking hair. Paul Mitchell has earned my undying love and gratitude forevermore.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2012 4:48 pm

    Ah, the memories of supporting your child. I bet he wonders why he didn’t get the house on the Cape in your will. 😉

  2. April 17, 2012 5:28 pm

    Just covering my bases in case he’s the one who picks my nursing home later. Thanks for reading!

  3. April 17, 2012 6:35 pm

    I was at a meet once and an old lady got hit in the back with a shot put. I was never more entertained at a meet than that night.

    • April 17, 2012 6:58 pm

      Great, so now I have to worry about dying from more than just boredom. Thanks for sharing 😉

      • April 17, 2012 8:01 pm

        Yeah, those shots can leave a mark. Keep your head on a swivel.

      • April 18, 2012 7:39 am

        I’ll just wear my youngest son’s football helmet to the next track meet.

      • April 18, 2012 10:47 am

        LOL. Think it’ll fit?

      • April 19, 2012 9:12 am

        Yeah, I’m a pinhead.

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