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Just to remind you - the new topic is up: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1050256.html

and sign ups will continue until those entries are due: https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049456.html

Thank you to everyone for spreading the word! We had some more folks show up yesterday and per a post I was tagged in on Facebook it seems like there are a few others who will be sending along their young writers to join our ranks!

Community Chest update: Thanks to 2 new donors (I don't know if they wanted their names mentioned, so I won't unless they want to out themselves) we are now up to $25! I'm hoping to see that number continue to grow over the course of the month, so that we can have a decent "prize" for those who make it all the way to the end! https://therealljidol.livejournal.com/1049645.html for more details.

***
I was one of the fastest kids at my elementary school.

My middle of nowhere, smaller-than-small, rural Pennsylvania, elementary school. So of course they asked me to join the track team.

And it wasn't really a surprise when I was selected as one of runners to represent the school at the District competition.

I wasn't one of the fastest kids at the District level. I wasn't "one of the slowest". My first, and only, time competing I was blown out so badly that by the time I finished, the next race had already started.

Let me repeat that - when I crossed the finish line, they had already started the next race.

The judges called me over and took my information. I was confused, but embarrassed enough that I just wanted to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible.

Somewhere there was a mix-up.

When they called my name over the loud speaker as *the winner* of the race I wasn't sure what to do... so I went back to the judges and tried to explain that I didn't win anything. Unless being *really bad* was a victory. In which case, I was a huge winner.

They nodded and smiled and said they would take a look. The kid who *did* win was also there disputing the results. They told him the same thing.

It turned out they thought I had won the next race. They gave me a medal, even after I talked to my coach and had him go talk to them as well.

I'm still not sure what happened - maybe they were embarrassed as well and didn't want to disappoint a kid who thought he had won something, so they gave both of us the victory... and sent both of us to the Regional competition.

Where I was destroyed worse than before. (because my "qualifying time" was so good - being that it was for finishing the race after my own - I was put in the very back of the pack.)

That was the last time I ever ran track.

I was in middle school in Florida when my PE teacher noticed that I was really good at the hurdles and tried to recruit me for the track team. But that earlier embarrassment stuck with me, and I decided not to go down that road again.

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
murielle
May. 2nd, 2018 01:29 pm (UTC)
In the land of children, adults can sometimes sure mess things up, can't they? Good on you for being honest and trying to right the wrong even though it wasn't your mistake.
clauderainsrm
May. 2nd, 2018 02:25 pm (UTC)
To be fair, I probably shouldn't have gone to the Regionals at all. But it was a really big deal at my school... part of me wonders if that's why the coach didn't argue as hard as he should have.
alycewilson
May. 2nd, 2018 02:16 pm (UTC)
You have a lot of embarrassing stories! I don't think any of mine are quite as good.

I did, however, have a skirt rip on the back seam all the way down when I was on the bus heading home. Fortunately, I had a sweater with me, so I tied it around my waist, covering my backside, until I got home.
clauderainsrm
May. 2nd, 2018 03:13 pm (UTC)
I haven't even gotten to any of the *good* ones yet. There's at least one big one to go and one that I'm not 100% sure that I *want* to tell. ;)

and those are the "clean ones". I'm a walking embarrassing story!

clauderainsrm
May. 2nd, 2018 03:15 pm (UTC)
I considered tying my jacket around my waist yesterday and just getting on the bus, but that was before I realized just how big the rip was.

Cynthia looked at it yesterday and just started laughing. It's ridiculously big.
alycewilson
May. 2nd, 2018 02:50 pm (UTC)
BTW, it looks like I've talked a friend of mine from grad school, Erik Kestler, into entering one or both of his sons into Idol Minor!
clauderainsrm
May. 2nd, 2018 03:16 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! We're really close to our 1,000th writer to participate and I think that would be pretty cool for it to be one of our young writers.
alycewilson
May. 4th, 2018 05:16 pm (UTC)
That would be awesome! He's enjoyed reading KFP's creative pieces online and recently expressed an interest in getting his sons to do something similar, so this is perfect.
favoritebean
May. 3rd, 2018 07:58 am (UTC)
I have always been terrible at running. I would get painful asthma attacks as a child, and at my peak, I could only run about a 9 minute mile. Cycling on the other hand, I was great at. Swimming, too. But we couldn't afford for me to join swim team.

I admit I'm curious as to where in Pennsylvania you were living.

Also, this is a fantastic story and very worthy of the memoir that you should absolutely publish someday soon.
clauderainsrm
May. 3rd, 2018 09:18 am (UTC)
That was in Jamestown. (by Pymatuning Lake on the Ohio border)
favoritebean
May. 3rd, 2018 08:01 am (UTC)
I have a lot of embarrassing stories to write. Maybe I'll make a home game entry.

I hope that my friends bring their kids to the game. I've been chatting with friends in person, and of course on FB. The only catch is that testing is going on right now. Yay, Common Core!!!!
clauderainsrm
May. 5th, 2018 02:03 am (UTC)
I started the thread today for the Home Game!
halfshellvenus
May. 15th, 2018 09:31 pm (UTC)
?? Because even being told by the "winner" and by another kid that they were confused wasn't enough?

Gads.

And how much worse, overall, to have to get blown out twice. :(
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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