So, about 2 weeks ago, Blake asked me when we would be going to watch the “Halloween Race”. Each of the past few years, he and I have gone down to Washington Park and watched Halloween Cross. Just 2 guys hanging out doing guy stuff, no Moms or sisters. Kids need to be 10 years old to actually compete in the sanctioned races, but I had forgotten about the “Kids’ Race”. I looked online and sure enough; any kid, any age, any bike. Once I told Blake about it, it was all over. I think he asked me when the race was every 5 minutes for 2 weeks. He couldn’t wait to wear his jersey (an XS that fits him like a dress), and his batting/catching/cycling gloves and get his race on.
On race day it was pretty cold, so I gave him a skullcap to wear under his helmet, which he has worn around the house every minute since then. He rode his sister’s old 24″ mountain bike with the seat all the way down, which makes him look a lot like Kermit the Frog on a bike. He lined up with the rest of the kids and took off. There were only 2 kids his age, most were younger on small bikes with training wheels. Blake didn’t care. He was there to race, and race he did!
At “GO” the kids took off, and it was ON! For the adults it was cute, comical and just a fun sideshow to the real racing. But to Blake, it was maybe more important than all the adults’ races that day. Blake came to race, and whether he got 1st, 2nd or last, he planned to give it his very best effort. It’s hard to remember just doing without thinking like that. As adults we have tire choices, training regimes, nutrition, hydration, competition, course, etc. Endless excuses and variables. Blake had a bike and a race. Start at the “Start”, finish at the “Finish”. Get a medal.
He’s already planning his next races. Blake DID get his medal that day. So did every other kid – identical to his – except Blake’s is a first place medal. I think he slept with it on for 2 days.
When’s the last time something meant so much to you that you slept with it?