That was the comment Dale made after Adam rounded the corner, passed the number one runner and headed towards the finish line of his Jr. High Cross Country race. He could see the determination and desire that Adam had to win this race. Standing closer to the finish line, I saw it too; Adam wasn’t going to let this one get away from him.

Cross Country season is underway and it’s been fun to cheer on the runners, no matter what their age or which race they are running. I’ve enjoyed watching the expressions on the faces of the runners, especially as they near the finish line. Last week in Montgomery, the kids had to go up a hill and then run about 60 yards to the finish line. I watched many of the runners’ faces as they went up that hill. A number of kids looked strong and determined. A few looked uncertain and there were some that looked tired. Our team has been doing more training on hills and when I watched them, I thought they looked confident that this hill was something they could run.

Dale and I both noticed how one of our 8th grade girls is running with a more confident look on her face. Last year, she ran like she wasn’t certain she could make it. But this year, even running at varsity level and a longer distance, she has the look of “I can do this”. It’s great to watch kids progress not just physically, but mentally.

Communication is both the words we say and our facial and body expressions. Running is a tough sport and when you’re using your arms and legs that leaves mainly your face to communicate how you’re feeling.  I love seeing that look in the eyes of a runner who’s determined and confident. No matter how they place, I know they’re giving it their best.

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