Running in the rain

October 30, 2009

Faith Outdoors

I went over to Battle Creek Regional Park in St. Paul yesterday to see my son, Joe, compete in the last cross country race of his high school career. He is a senior at Trinity School at River Ridge in Eagan. It was the section meet and he was shooting for his best time of the year.

He is the No. 6 runner on the team, and only the top five score in a meet. So, he was running for pride. He also was trying to push through some physical problems he has been having throughout the season, particularly the last few weeks. He has been getting ill during and after races, and he’s not sure why.
The rainy, sloppy conditions yesterday definitely did not help. He got off to a pretty good start, but faded later in the race. I shouted encouragement as he ran by, hoping to spur him on to a kick at the end.
He struggled to finish, but I was proud of him nonetheless. Sometimes, it’s hardest to complete a task when you know the results you are hoping for won’t happen. That was definitely the case here.
But,  there’s a valuable lesson that can come from this experience, and I hope he will learn it. I think it’s good when things don’t come easy and we have to work hard to achieve results that are below our expectations. Too often, I think, parents try to shield their children from things like this.
But, these kinds of experiences build character in ways success often doesn’t. So, I walk away happy from this event, especially that Joe didn’t give up and pushed to the end.
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About Dave Hrbacek

Staff photographer and writer for The Catholic Spirit. Also, avid outdoors enthusiast with a passion for hunting, fishing and photography. Married to Julie and have four children, three boys and a girl.

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