Wednesday, July 11, 2012

a (run) down memory lane

This past weekend we celebrated the retirement of a really important man, Coach Calhoun.  He was the high school cross country coach that put together such an amazing team that is was truly an honor to be a part of it.

I met my husband on the Cross Country team back in '99, when I was 13.

The day started with a race around the circuit.  Bringing back out from the depths of closets old t-shirts and uniforms that haven't been worn in years. They are faded and stained from their numerous wears through Appalachian State trails, Titusville and the halls of Seminole High School.   

The race also brings runners out of retirement who can't recall the last time they laced up running shoes, some have become mothers and come armed with babies and jogging strollers, children join us on this run as they follow in their parents footsteps. Dedicated runners also arrive who have maintained their passion for the sport beyond their high school years.  Some simply arrive to cheer and honor coach.

After the race we celebrated with a retirement party that literally brought out hundreds that Coach has impacted during his 29 years as a coach. 

It was a very pure thing we were a part of- the cross country team.  We stayed close and had eachother's backs.  I remember high school as a sacred place where worries were simple; ranging from drinking enough water before a big meet, keeping up good grades, and practicing with the team loyally through all seasons and weather.  It is where I met my future husband and my best friends and had some of my very favorite memories.

The kids that ran for Coach are quick to say positives about their HS experience.  I realize the friendships I made and the lessons I learned are rare and amazing.  They existed because I was part of a team that was about dedication, loyalty, humor and high expectations.  Thank you Coach Calhoun for creating this environment for me to be a part of in HS.  I couldn't have dreamed up better teenage years for myself. 

July 7, 2012 was officially declared Bruce Calhoun Day by the Mayor of Seminole.  There is no one more deserving.  Thank you coach.  My life, very literally, would not have turned out the same without you.

Happy retirement! It is well-deserved!

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