I've really enjoyed stitching this Santa so far. I'm so glad that I saw another stitcher working on one of these on large count fabric at the 2008 camp. Camp = Inspiration!
And here are some more Cross Country photos. The season is over now for my kids, so I promise to stop torturing you with these pictures. But not many people go to Cross Country meets, so relatively few people know what a meet is like, and maybe you're curious? (I know that some of you have kids that run or used to run. Barb, Pam and Von....and are there any others?) There are a few reasons why not many people get to see meets.
First of all, when kids run XC in high school, most meets happen on weekdays and usually between 3 and 4PM, so it's hard for working parents to get to meets. (It's a daylight issue. You can't run through field and forest in the dark!) There is the occasional Saturday meet, but not too often. Parents work really hard and juggle their schedules to attend just a few meets each year. And if they run late and arrive 20 minutes after the start....well, they've missed the whole thing.
College meets are usually run on Saturdays, and if your runner goes on to run at the college level, you still may not make it to all the meets because they can be hours and hours away. We usually get to see our kids run at about half of their meets.
Meets are not very family-friendly, either. It's not like a football game or soccer game or track meet, where spectators sit in stands and watch events, and you can bring younger siblings and grandparents and they can sit comfortably and watch the kids. At our high school's home course, which was on the grounds of a PSU campus, we learned where we could set up folding chairs for grandparents so that they could see the kids run by a couple of times and see the finish line. But our home course was very viewer-friendly and that's quite unusual.
So anyway, most people don't know what a meet is like. They think it's like a track meet and that's understandable, but not even close.
Once the gun goes off and the runners pass you, it's like this photo below: These aren't kids racing. Those are spectators trying to get to the next place in the course where they can see the runners. We all have course maps that we try to follow so that we can get to the next place out in the field or near a path to see our runners. And you usually need to be pretty quick about it. The kids in these pictures are probably the runners' teammates and brothers and sisters hoofing it to the next place on the course.
And then come the parents. We're not quite as quick...and we're usually clutching our maps and trying to follow people who look like they know where to go.
And you do that several times until you decide that it's time to skeedaddle to the finish so you can see your runner come in. This is what you look for at the end. You hope that your runner has enough left to kick strong into the finish, and you look at his or her face and you know that they're pushing themselves to the limit. Look at these girls' faces. Concentration and push.
Then we wait awhile and try to give the kids some space as they recover. Sometimes it's not too bad, and sometimes it's not very pretty. (But these girls look ok.) And once they've recovered a bit, there are usually hugs all around. And food. Always food!
****Thanks very much to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology who hosted the meet and shared these photographs with the many parents who couldn't attend.