First Place

Beautiful weather in Chi-Town this past week. Upper 70’s, mostly clear skies and dry.
This morning: 52 degrees and constant rain which, as it happens, was the day of our first 5k race of the season. It finally did stop raining…after we returned home. It’s all in the timing.

Son #2 finished in first place. Pop was just glad to finish. Next up for SN2: The Illinois Marathon and a half triathlon before the tackling the actual Ironman this summer. That’s a 2.4 mile swim, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles.  I’m of the opinion I should be cheering rather than getting carried away in a stretcher.  Besides, it would be dark and no one would be around by time I crossed the finish line.


4 responses to “First Place

  1. virgil xenophon

    SN2 has the lean, spare, semi-gaunt look ofthe long-distance runner. The Father, OTOH looks like he’s ready for the Finals of NCAA Wrestling in the Light-Heavy Div. LOL. You look in great shape for a semi-Geezer!! Between the job and flying where in the H do you find the time! Or is it all genetics? (I knew a senior Major in the AF like that–had the body of a Greek God and swore he never touched a weight in his life! Was a FAC with me in Vietnam, then came to England at time I did but down in London at HQ 3rd AF staff position)

    As someone who (fitfully) ran the mile in HS give my congrats to your son!!

    • I’m excited to see him compete in the Ironman. Keeping up with him is impossible. One of the 5k’s we ran he greeted me after already having his drink and a bagel and handed me a bottle of Propel. “Dad, I got one of these for you since I thought they’d all be gone by time you crossed the line”. (Um-thanks for the drink and the compliment;)

      Thanks for the kind words but I’ve pretty much kept up with some sort of training since high school. I’ve always felt better doing it and in a way I feel like I’m still competing.

      Lessee-Tennis, football and now track. I didn’t hear basketball but you probably did that too if Pop was the coach?

  2. virgil xenophon

    Yes,BB too.Unfortunately I was a 5’81/2”point guard w.o. a 30ft jump-shot in the days before it was fashionable to run a 1-3-1 “point-guard”-led offense. My HS ran the standard 2-3 offense and both guards had to be able to shoot! So I mostly sat on the bench. Hell, with my size I wouldn’t be able to even make the team today even IF they ran a point-guard oriented offense. Same with football. Although I was an All-Conference, All-State defensive half-back/safety and several smaller colleges (including the AFA) were recruiting me, at my height and at 165lbs I couldn’t even make my HS team today, the kids have grown so big. Sort of like all those 135lb All-American half-backs in the 1930s at Tulane, Oklahoma, Alabama and Standford, etc. LOL. Today? I remember my freshman year the avg ht/wt for an All-State tight end in Ill was 6’4″/190lbs (I remember because we had one who hit those exact numbers–was power forward on BB team also) In 4 short yrs by my senior year the avg had grown to 6′-5″/215lbs!

    The same in tennis. When I played I was considered of average height. It was rare to see a player taller than 6′-6’1”. Today they have many 6’5”-6-9″”!! and my ht is now DEFINITELY considered “short” for a tennis player. I’d better stick to ping-pong….or
    badminton. (Both of which I used to play at the championship level in senior competition, btw.)

    Esoterica: Did you know that Jackie Robinson was the Long Beach, CA ., MEN’s Table-Tennis Champion@age 13? Was truly a multi-talent–maybe greatest ever. Led both his college team and conference in rushing and scoring as half-back in football and was teams leading scorer on the BB team. Also, even in my day they demand that you specialize in your scholarship sport–not like in the 30s when my Dad’s oldest brother won 14 letters! in Tennis, Football, Basketball and track at Illinois State! LOL!!

    • Sport’s have changed to uber competitve at the youngest years. If you don’t concentrate on one sport it’s hard to get a scholarship or move to the next level. I do believe that an athlete who is skilled in one area may have transferable skills (A basketball star sometimes can be a great football DB).

      You mentioned ping pong:my high school friend (who recently moved back to Chicago) was an Olympic ping pong star. Ping Pong- not sure it ever belonged in the Olymics.

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