Going the Distance – The Adventures of a Newb Sport Parent

This is the third post in the series- The Adventures of a Newb Sport Parent

As you know, I’m new to the whole sport parent, sideline coach, super fan thing and I am constantly finding out something new or being faced with unfamiliar challenges.  When I embarked on this endeavor, I proclaimed I would go to every cross-country meet.  However, I didn’t realize that there might be obstacles, unforeseen forces that could prevent that.

I live outside of Chicago, in the southwest suburbs, and in Illinois we have 3 seasons:

Winter ~ which generally starts in November and lasts until April
Spring/Summer/Fall ~ from late April to mid November
Construction ~ a year-long event, varying from typical pavement repairs and bridge maintenance to the major construction of highways and byways

A week or two ago, I missed the start of a race due to unexpected road construction.


Are you kidding me?

I left 30 minutes early to arrive at the course which is literally 4 miles and approximately 10 minutes away from my home.

So what’s the rub you ask?

Cross-country meets mostly occur in an open or woodland area.  This particular meet was in the woods.  Once you miss the start of a 3 mile race located in the woods, there is nothing to do but wait until the runners come into the finish line.


This is not the traditional “spectator” sport.  Be that as it may, I planned to attend every meet.

I love being able to see my daughter as she comes through the flags and congratulate her once again for going the distance.  I’m a realist and I know I wouldn’t be able to do it at that level in a million years and I am very proud of her.

I digress…

Although I missed the start, I was able to see her finish and that REALLY really really matters to me.

So like I was saying, at the start of the season, I told myself that I would attend every meet, I didn’t anticipate there being any reason why I couldn’t – a common rookie mistake.

Last weekend I set out to attend another epic battle across the open terrain and I got lost.

Yeah I said it…I got lost.

Contrary to popular belief, in this day in age, even with the marvelous technology of GPS; you can still get lost and I got lost on my way to the friggin’ woods.  I felt like Hansel and Gretel, but I knew better, therefore; I did not get out of the car approaching creepy houses looking for help.

At this point, my only concern was trying to navigate out of the woods.  By the way,

 Dear AT&T, The GPS signal also got lost.

Unfortunately for me, there was no start.  There were no flags, but you know what?  She went the distance.  So maybe it’s OK.  Maybe I don’t have to go to every race to show support.  Maybe words of encouragement can also come from within. Maybe even when you’re absent a sport parent’s presence is always felt on the sideline.


I’m Just Sayin’…(Damn!)

Read other posts in series The Adventures of a Newb Sport Parent:

Nightmares on the Sideline
Go to the Bathroom First

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