Today was Melissa’s first track meet of the year. She signed up for track and field and she’s been practicing every day after school, very dedicated, not missing a single practice. I was excited to go watch her. She told me she’ll participate in the 200m dash, 4x200m and the high jump. The high jump? I used to do that! Every day after school since I was about 9 years old I would walk to the park, Parcul Babes, and train. I made great friends that I still keep in touch with and really liked my coach. It was great! While I was never very good, I did hold my own and enjoyed the practices and all the lessons that came with them. We practiced for a few hours, all year long. There really wasn’t much else to do then, so unless you wanted to just hang at home with your family, you took up a sport. My older brother did track also and my younger brother was a volleyball player. In a way, that was our entertainment and definitely our ticket out of the house every day.
As I walked on the stadium today I was overwhelmed by emotions. It made me smile and it made me feel strange. I was happy to be there! But I was on the wrong side of the field! I walked on the field and talked to the girls. They had butterflies in their stomach and were ready to get started. Their first meet! So exciting! I found myself trying to help them during their high jump event. I thought…”I should have been a track coach.” Everything I learned way back when was coming back. Not skipping a beat! I thought… I bet I can still clear the bar! Melissa had a few good jumps and in the end cleared 3ft 8in. She did great for her first time ever. At the end I told her coaches to let me try to jump it too. They said sure, go for it. For a few seconds I go back in time and see myself doing this every day… piece of cake! 3ft 8 in… that’s a little over one meter! That’s nothing. My personal best was 180cm or about 5ft 10 in. So here I go. I eye the mat and go for it! And I kid you not, as I fell on the bar, I don’t think my feet ever left the ground! It was embarrassing! I guess I’ll stick to coaching!