Last weekend, JT ran his first half-marathon and to say that he loved it is an understatement. Two months ago, as the school baseball season approached, JT gave some serious thought to not playing this year. I expressed my strong opposition and some very tense weeks followed. When I finally encouraged him to make up his own mind about baseball, he had a talk with the coach, a man whose respect and affection is important to him. Then he walked away from the baseball team and immediately began training with a Track Club in central New Jersey. The goal was to be well-prepared for Sunday’s 13.1 mile race. When he rolled across the finish line with a 1:29:59 time, he was elated.
I am sad that he isn’t playing baseball. It’s the sport that first got him thinking about being an athlete. It’s always been my favorite season to watch. And I know that playing on a team in this way is a limited thing —— he probably won’t play on a baseball team again. But he’s found his passion in running. One of his coaches jokes that “he’s drunk the koolaid,” and that’s true to an extraordinary degree. When I watch him run, I’m reminded of the 6 year old who once informed me that running was better than walking and who ran everywhere he went. He’s a little bigger now, but he’s still on the move.