Mighty Mo plays flag football and practices twice a week at the game field. Depending on the night at least one other team will be there as well. Usually there is a team there that is coached by the prototypical guy you would never want to coach your child. Tall, fat, loud, hard on the players who are only seven and eight years old. Accent puts him from New York or New Jersey. Not a knock, just an observation.
This coach he is always yelling in practice about what is done wrong in the plays. Rarely does he praise what is done right. He is the kind of coach always using the word, "gentlemen" as if it softens the decibels or the criticism. At the end of the season that team is middle of the pack. So the hard riding has not exactly played out for them.
Conversely, Mighty Mo's team is one of two undefeated teams in the same 7/8 age group. They have a shot this weekend for winning the whole 7/8 division in football. His team has played together for three seasons with the same coaches, some of us have played together for four or five seasons on other teams. In fact in the winter off-season, the team wanted to hang out together still and joined a basketball league just to keep the comradery going.
So far this has nothing to do with my post.
Last night I needed to get in a run and decided I would do it while Mighty Mo was having practice by running around all the fields. I'd done this before. I ran for the whole practice, an hour, getting in a little over six miles. I had to run by this coach and his team on each lap of which 3 laps equaled a mile. So I went past, 18 or 19 times. At some point I got the impression that the coach was waiting for me to stop, as if my stopping, even because I went my planned distance or time, vindicated to him that I was a quitter. Each time I came by he got louder, as if trying to crowd my space with his voice. Some parents started looking at me for long periods of time as I ran down and past them and I got the impression that at some point during a break something might have been said about me.
At some point, forty or so minutes into my run, I had flipped my switch from not really loving my run to loving it, accepting it, and knowing I could do this for hours and I didn't want to stop. (For me the first ten minutes of any run is a gamble if I keep going). Mighty Mo's team finished practice first and it worked out perfectly for me distance wise and location on the field. I had to look towards the verbose coach a hundred yards away and he was certainly eyeballing me as if to confirm that he had silently bet I couldn't run the whole time and was disappointed that I did. I tossed him a head nod but he turned and walked away from me.
I love to prove people wrong like that.