So Wednesday was a big day in our household. It was the semi-annual Cross Country Meet for our school board. There seemed to be more kids there than usual. Normally, there are roughly 300 kids in each race, but there were at least 450 kids in some of the races. And the kids were competing against schools we've never seen at the meets before. Many of the other parents and I were wondering if they had condensed the 3 day event into 2 days.
Now last time, Damon's buddies finished 1st and 4th and he finished 7th. Here they are finishing 34th, 36th, and Damon was 40th.
He was initially disappointed with this finish and cried, telling everybody he was crying because somebody had punched his back during the race. But then he overheard other kids who were thrilled to have finished 89th, 94th, and even one boy who was calling his dad from his mom's cellphone to proudly announce that he finished 315th. After that he stopped rubbing his back and didn't mind telling all the kids at school that he finished 40th of 450 kids.
Then we come to Patrick. He was extremely nervous and felt a lot of internal pressure to win. But he saw a lot of his teammates who normally had top 10 finishes finish in the 40s or 50s. He was running in a race that was for grade 5 and 6 boys and since he is a very young grade 5 (being born in November) he has a disadvantage there. He didn't have a great start, but by the time they went over the bridge, he was moving up into the front pack of 10 or so boys. When they were coming back over the bridge we could see that he was 6th, and there was no way to catch the boy who was in the lead, he had about 100 m on everybody and he was only gaining speed.
Here he is looking a bit deflated after receiving his 6th place ribbon. He wanted to go home immediately after this photo was taken.
I told him how proud I was of him and reminded him that the competition in this race was much tougher than any he had ever faced and that he had probably run his best race ever. But I'm not sure he was ready to listen to me. Next fall he will have a much better chance when he doesn't have to run against boys who are almost 2 years older than he is. But hopefully this has taught him not to have such demanding expectations of himself.