It all started with his friend, Jon. Sam started 6th grade this year, and the opportunity came up for him to join cross-country (also referenced as XC). Sam and Jon are good friends; they go to church together, and they go to the same school too (though not in the same class.) Jon’s been running XC for a couple of years now, and he really loves it. Naturally, Jon told Sam how awesome it was, and because Sam does just about anything Jon does, he decided he wanted to join too. One of his other friends, Griffin, who is also Sam’s friend from church, was on the team too. To be honest, my husband and I weren’t exactly thrilled with the practice schedule of three times every week, and XC meets most every Saturday until November, but it’s great exercise, a great sport that isn’t as competitive or riddled with face-to-face conflict like basketball or football, and Sam was excited about something other than Minecraft or Star Wars scripting. So we took him to his first practice. In August. In 90-degree heat. So he could run. Up and down hills and through the woods. Awesome.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect at his first XC meet, but he actually did pretty well!! He didn’t like all the yelling and cheering everyone was doing for all the kids, and he waved me off with his hand to get me to stop yelling. He was starting to get upset as he approached the finish line, and as soon as he crossed the line, he burst into uncontrollable tears. He was overwhelmed, tired, and he was hurting. But he was able to calm down and walk it off, and posed for this picture with his friends Jon and Griffin. Jon actually won first place, which was his first time placing first (congrats, Jon!!) Sam came in 19th, which I thought was pretty good considering there were at least 50 other kids running and it was his first meet, and Griffin wasn’t far behind Sam.
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