It has the makings of a classic fish out of water story. A middle aged Orthodox rabbi starts training with a cross country team from the local high school. The boys on the team, barely one third of his age, as well as the coach, are Hispanic. The Disney version would have them learn about each other and become close, while the team unexpectedly wins the state title. I don’t know how the real life version will end, as I am only at the beginning of story.
I’ve written before about my strong desire to play on a team when I was in high school. The only choices were basketball and baseball and I was not good enough at either of those sports. I was left to look jealously at the jocks, as they walked with their pretty girlfriends, wearing their team jackets. Looking back, I am far from certain that being on a team would have dramatically changed my life, but back then I was not so sure.
As I’ve gotten into running, I have found myself at times looking at some impossibly thin high school runner, and wondering “What if?”. Most Orthodox high schools don’t have cross country teams and none did when I was in school. Could running have been my ticket to a team jacket, if not a pretty girlfriend?
Well here I am almost 25 years out of high school. I know I can’t go back and besides, I’m already married to a beautiful woman. Still, I’d like to, at least peripherally, be on a team. That’s why I asked Coach Fazio if I could run with his guys sometimes and why I was so happy when he said yes.
I don’t know where this will lead, or how long it will last, but I look forward to finding out.