Poor kid. She insists on running hurdles because she says “it’s fun.” I’m sure it is. Her forte, however—even though she refuses to believe it—is distance. I know this to be true because I’ve run with her. Never fail, within the first five minutes of our run, she’s half a mile ahead of me. And quite frankly, I’m no slouch.
Also, the only days she doesn’t run distance are the days she has soccer practice. And if she goes for a few days without a long run, she misses it the way any addict misses her fix. I understand they call it a runner’s high. (I have yet to experience a runner’s high . . . I only have runner’s remorse when I go too long without this beneficial workout).
Unfortunately, my daughter’s enthusiasm to run the 100 hurdles in the afternoon track meet was thwarted in warm-up by an early jump and a crash. Her calf hit the hurdle and then she somehow landed a relatively bony butt cheek on top of it, which resulted in a substantial bruise. The injury rendered her ineligible for the hurdles, of course, and the high jump, an event in which she planned to compete for the first time.
We brought her home, iced her up, gave her Advil and cookies, and let her rest for two hours before soccer practice. Yes, soccer practice.
My daughter is setting her physical activity priorities. When it comes to sports, she’s a soccer girl. For those of you in other climates, you may not realize that down here in the desert, soccer season never ends. Club workouts and competition happen year-round, only breaking for three-months while the school season takes place during the winter.
In the fall she added the cross-country team to her schedule and truly enjoyed it. After a long school soccer season, she wasn’t as enthusiastic about spring track until she heard it was a coed team. We realize she doesn’t feel extremely competitive in her events and uses the opportunity as a track team member to stay in shape and have something to do after school other than homework and being with us.
She’s decent at the hurdles and, I feel, with a little training/coaching, could be an outstanding high-jumper. At five-foot nine with legs til next Tuesday, she’s certainly built for it.
This girl can do anything she wants and we’ll always support her decisions. But holding my breath through the potential injuries and icing the (so-far minor) injuries that do occur, make my hair go gray.
Ultimately I believe that for now, one more bruise to the butt doesn’t seem so bad. Ask any parent who has faced something like ACL surgery—an all too common injury for young female soccer players—it could be a lot worse.