As I draft this, I'm on the Midland High booster club's chartered bus heading north to Amarillo for the first football game of the season. Friday night lights, uncharted territory for me as it is our first taste of varsity football. Being west Texas, football doesn't get any bigger than this. My freshman son Chandler is with me and he will get to watch his older brother Corbin, a sophomore, play for the first time since probably the 5th grade. Being a football player as well, he's always had games or practice when his brother was playing. While I miss the rest of our family not being here with us, this will be a bonus spending some quality time with Chandler watching Corbin and the rest of Bulldogs play.
With The North Face Endurance Championship just over 3 months away, tonight's game made me think a little about what Corbin most likely might be going through. Thoughts of the unknown. He's on the team bus right now loaded with older boys with varsity experience and he's probably about ready to puke from nerves. If he's not yet, he will be tonight when he steps on the field for the first time in front of a huge crowd under those Friday night lights. Maybe some of the same feelings I had when I boarded the runners' bus last year to head to the start of the TNF Championship. I wasn't sure I belonged there. I wasn't sure I was ready for such a challenge, my first 50 miler, but I was there and I just told myself "have confidence and act like you know what you are doing".
When it was all said and done, I was a bit disappointed in my time, but glad I did it, and better yet I walked away ready to tackle it again in 2011 with a vengeance. This morning before he let the house, I repeated some of those same thoughts to Corbin, "have confidence in yourself. You're there for a reason. Make the most out of your opportunities and make something happen out there when you get your chance." I feel like last year's race set me up for a great 2011 race because of the experience I gained. My hopes are that tonight and for the remainder of the season the disappointments are kept to a minimum and that the experience will be setting him up for a great 2012 and even better 2013 Senior season. Good luck tonight Son, you'll do great when you get your shot, I have no doubt.
Post-game post: We won 24-17 in double overtime played similar to NCAA overtime. If Corbin wasn't nervous out there tonight, I certainly picked up the slack. Not sure I can stomach many games like tonight's......unless we're on the winning side of course.