I went along to cheer Kayley at the school cross country this afternoon and arrived with a feeling of doom. I couldn't figure out if it was merely flash backs of my own cross country disasters at the very same establishment or it was some kind of weird premonition about the outcome of Kayley's race. Unfortunately it was the latter.
She walked across the courtyard full of excitement and the possibility of what was to come. She sat patiently while the Year One children had their turn running around the field. All the while I remembered my first cross country where I was about three metres from the finishing line and could see Mum jumping up and down cheering me on (despite my grand effort for last place) when I put on one last burst of speed, tripped over the blade of grass and landed flat on my face inches the wrong side of the finish line. The shame! (And the look of pity on my Mum's face as she rushed over to pick me up and hurl me across to the other side.)
Kayley started off, got a bit of a trip from someone in front and fell into last place. Ah well, I thought to myself, as long as she gives it her best effort, it doesn't matter where she comes. All the other little Year Two girls came staggering over the finish and Kayley was no where to be seen. I found her about three quarters of the way around crying because everyone else was faster than her. I tried to run with her but one of the mums suggested it would be kinder to sneak away and let the next race start. In hindsight it wasn't kinder. She should have finished, got the number on her hand and been proud to see it through. Ah well, there's always next year, and next year, no matter what, she'll get all the way to the end!