My grandson, Josh started out in this life as a preemie baby, being born 5 weeks early, and while his medical problems were minor…just underdeveloped lungs and his small size. After spending 2 weeks at Presbyterian St Luke’s Hospital in the neo-natal intensive care unit, Josh came home a healthy baby boy with no signs of the early birth he had experienced. He began the catch up process, and did a very good job of it. He quickly left behind that small size and weak lungs, and turned into a very healthy and strong runner.
Today, I had the privileged of attending Josh’s track meet in Douglas. Josh has always loved to run…even as a little boy, and he and his brother raced to school. Their dad tells me that they still race each other, and maybe that is why Josh is so good at racing…lots of practice. He started out trying to catch up to his brother, and then he started winning sometimes.
Josh did well in his races, but it was the 4 X 400 Meter Relay that was the most exciting…for many people. In the 4 X 400 Meter Relay, there are teams that race against each member of the team runs once around the track with a baton. After each runner runs their lap, the baton is handed off to the next runner. Josh was the second runner on his team. At the point the baton was handed off to Josh, his team was in dead last out of 6 or 7 teams. About a quarter of the way around the track Josh began his sprint. He passed the slowest runners easily, and then began the real catch up work. One by one Josh passed each other the other runners, until there was only one runner ahead of him. When Josh handed off the baton to the next runner, their team was in 2nd place, and there they stayed.
Josh had put his team back in the race. They were in last place…with little hope of changing their situation. It is very hard to picture any possibility of catching up. Then came Josh. He ran past each of the other racers as if they were standing still, and believe me, they were running hard. If there had been 100 more meters for Josh to run, he would have passed the first place team runner as well, but it didn’t matter, because they had been given hope again. And they weren’t in last place. Second place was a joyous position to be in.
After the race was over, and Josh returned to the bleachers where we were sitting near his school’s group. Josh was the talk of the crowd. All three coaches complimented him on a great run, as did all the students…and especially his teammates. The last runner on his team…usually the fastest runner, came up to Josh and said, “That’s it!! You are a permanent member of our relay team!!” It was a wonderful day for my grandson…and his parents and grandma too.