This Thursday and Friday marked the end of my ski season (in a different way--keep reading), where I did improve (and hopefully will improve next year too!) By being up in the mountains, I missed the front range blizzard in Colorado.
A week or 2 ago I got a message from the old sprint coach at my high school, who I also felt gave me some pointers, was a motivator, and is one of the most beautiful people I will ever have the privilege of meeting and having as a motivator when I was in high school. I exchanged the usual how are you when she contacted me, and the surprising answer was she was not so good. While I have MS, she now has been diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
So I have been thinking a lot about her--some anger, sadness, tears, etc. The thing I will never forget about her was what she told me after I finished 2nd in a 2 mile track race, at a big meet where I was really supposed to finish 5th or 6th. I don't remember what anyone else told me after that race, but I remember her taking the time to take me aside and tell me that I could have won that race. And I knew it. I'll never forget that.
This Thur and Fri her words from way back in high school continued to go through my head. I got to a point on the slope that I always somewhat miss and all of a sudden I heard in my head, "Beth, you could have won that race." With that, I sat up, leaned as I should, and nailed that point on the slope, and then never missed it the rest of the 2 days. There were other points too where her words came into play, and it made the 2 days of skiing more meaningful and more memorable.
The other part that came into play was a song by James Hersch, which also made me think of her. Who knows what will happen, but I thank God that she contacted me, that she brought back that memory (and others), and that she is as I remember her, one of the most beautiful people I will ever know.
Here's to you:
"The sun won't cry,
the moon won't care,
these hills are as quiet as a silent prayer.
And so I sing my song to you,
as if that's all that's left that I can do.
Here's to you, Mr. Twinkle in the eye,
Here's to you, Mr. Never let a day go by
without making someone smile, that's just what you'll do,
Here's to you."
Here's to you, Coach. This race I did win! And then I smiled one of my biggest smiles, ever!