On Friday, I made the short trip home from school. Friday night included watching a football game in my hometown’s brand-new stadium. The stadium is magnificent. A bouncy, eight lane track encloses a turf football field that serves not only as a football field, but as a marching band and soccer field as well. Rows upon rows upon rows of home and visitor bleachers, bathrooms and a concession stand for each team, and a high-rise press box add to its grandeur. While I am in awe of its splendor and feel a bit of disappointment at never having competed in it, it doesn’t have the small town magic the old football field sparkled with. I feel that when a community as close-knit as my hometown loses what defines it to the lure of modernity, the old times will be forgotten and the small town magic will fade away forever. (P.S. Thankfully, the addictive and movie-theater-worthy popcorn is still being produced in the new stadium.)
Saturday was filled with wedding celebrations for the brother of one of my best friends from high school and his now wife. For most of the day I was surrounded by people from my hometown. I reconnected with one of my best friends from middle school, and while because of distance I don’t think our friendship will become what it used to be, I am happy she is in my life again.
And on Sunday I slipped on my running shoes from my senior year of cross country and went for a run. My run included deliberate changing of my pace. I ran like I was so used to running in high school. Determined, arms and legs hurting but carrying me forward, breathing restricted, face slightly contorted. I finished and immediately placed my hands right above my knees and bent over – my signature end-of-a-run move. On my cool down walk, I was overcome with emotion at how much I missed workouts like the one I just finished and how much I missed cross country. I miss cross country for the workouts, team atmosphere, and the six girls I ran with every practice and meet of my senior season. I continually ponder the idea of transferring to a smaller school where I could participate in cross country. But if I am honest with myself, I know I won’t transfer because I am comfortable where I am. I have so many good things in my life right now, and I am not willing to give them up. So, I need to not play the Coulda Shoulda Woulda game and accept where I am. I need to fill the cross country void in my life with mentally and physically challenging workouts and group- or team-focused environments.
Everything will fall into place. It’s up to me to make that happen.