I was out a Springbrook today, mid afternoon under blue sky and sun, light wind to my back but that all changed when i got to the track at N’ville Central High School this afternoon around 5:30PM when it got drastically cooler. My son, Andy, asked me to attend the track meet, not only to see him run, but also so that he could present his dad at the end of the meet when the seniors were going to be recognized by peers and various coaches and staff.
Standing there in the stadium, i slowly watched the sun go down and the shadows grow larger on the field as i waited for this moment. It wasn’t long before I was in a hooded sweatshirt and nearly my gloves! I haven’t attended as many of Andy’s meets this season as i would’ve liked so I welcomed the opportunity to attend this particular one as it only took a half hour to get there. The ceremony was brief but poignant as I along with other parents, partnered with our respective son(s) and waited to be called forward when our son’s name was called. When Andy’s name was called, we then proceeded to pass thru this long gauntlet of sorts with fellow students and staff lining each side of this thing…..they clapped and cheered for Andy and several yelled out that he was so cool cause his dad was a world record holder! I simply smiled and acknowledged the countless references to the ride and being Andy’s dad, but smiled more inside for Andy because he indeed has made me proud. And I felt that pride rise up in me as we neared the end of the gauntlet. The rose that he was given, we agreed, could be given to his mother, who was unable to be there, by design or not, that didn’t matter. What did was that Andy and I were together for his senior recognition and I realized that I really cant complain to much about standing around freezing as I was, waiting for the ceremony, which really lasted only a few minutes, when Andy had spent countless hours with me during my many rides and more so this past Fall when he’d drive to Burr Ridge to Preston’s shop and be with me as i rode,at all hours.
I wish I had more nights like tonight…it really was cool (no pun intended). He even took first place in the 200 meter sprint! I then proceeded to meet him in the parking lot where I passed of several bottles of Isopure drink and some protein bars…..we said good bye and I just couldn’t have been prouder. Thanks Andy for a great night! It meant more to me than perhaps you’ll ever know. See you at graduation in a few weeks…..and probably sooner.