Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Butting Heads in August

It’s the middle of August. 1953. Temperature (in the shade) is 90 degrees. But we were in the Sun; dressed in the same outfits we would wear in late November. We had been running, jumping, banging full speed into blocking dummies and each other for two hours. But the ordeal was almost over. Soon we would be sipping our first taste of glorious water and relieve the awful symptoms of “cotton mouth.” In addition to water we were given a “salt pill” to make up for all that sweating that had drained from our bodies.

Football practice was almost over for the day. Just one ritual left.

“Wind sprints,” Coach Madden yelled out. “the guy who comes in last, takes one lap around the track.”

We lined up on the 20 yard line and raced as fast as we could to the goal line. Sometimes, if the coach wasn’t pleased with the way the practice went that day, we would do 2 or 3 wind sprints and maybe the whole team would be instructed to run a couple of “laps” around the quarter mile track.

Then, it was over. Until the next day at 9 o’clock.

There were two practices a day, 9am til 12 and 2 til 4. This went on for 2 to 3 weeks.

Now, when my 73 year old mind wanders into that twilight zone in the brain…and I fantasize about being young and in high school again, I think ALGEBRA and WINDSPRINTS and suddenly I’m back to reality….and thankful for it.