Thursday, October 31, 2013

PHC: Cross Country in the Bigger Picture

 
Every month, Kat Sloma hosts a photography practice she calls "photo-heart connection," which encourages photographers to review their month's work and choose the one photo which most touches their heart and speaks to their soul. This month was hard for me because my October SLR memory cards are pretty much full of photographs from cross country meets and my iphone camera roll contained nothing very inspiring.
So, I looked at my running photos again, and I remembered this photo and why I love it so much. It's Clara, looking strong as she enters the chute on her way to the finish line. I remember that she passed two girls in the chute because she was coming in with a hot, fast kick. There's her coach Stephanie on the right (in the orange shirt and sunglasses) yelling that yes, she can catch those girls. And there's her friend Ashley (with the orange shirt and pom poms) cheering her on, excited by just how fast Clara runs. 
And when you look closer, there's more. Ashley is wearing an orange cast because she broke her leg at the very first meet of the season and has not been able to run this year. Yet she shows up at every meet to cheer her teammates on. And next to her is her mother! Also there to cheer the team on, even though her kid isn't even competing. Because the bigger picture of cross country is the team and community and family connections we've made. There's new friends and a strong team who really support each other. 
But for me, there's even more. Last weekend, Clara traveled about 350 miles with her team to southern California to run in a huge invitational meet. I emailed my brothers and sisters who live down there and asked if they wanted to drop by and watch her run (even though I wouldn't be there). And they showed up in force! There were seven of them, with signs saying "Go Clara!" and "HMB XC!" Paul flew down, and his parents went to the meet as well. My one brother who couldn't make it called after the race to see how she did. You see, the bigger picture of cross country for me also includes the fact that all three of my brothers ran cross country in high school (and two in college). They love the sport and were thrilled to go see Clara run in the same invitational they remember competing in when they were (much) younger.
When I look at this photograph of Clara, I see more than a really strong fast competitive runner (although I do see that, too). I see where she fits in the bigger picture, in the web of life which surrounds us all. And that makes my heart happy.
Thank you Kat for sponsoring this wonderful photography practice.
To check out the other photo-heart connections from this month, click on this link.

19 comments:

Jane said...

how wonderful to have such caring family and friends, I can see why you picked that photo.

Missus Wookie said...

Oh that is such a lovely background to the photo - indeed how wonderful to have such a lovely set of connections with family and friends.

Eileen T said...

This is a wonderful piece of writing. I could experience the emotion and camaraderie that is all part of the sport, but which I had never thought about before. Thank you for opening my eyes to this.

alexa said...

Such lovely connections, family and words, all centred around your amazing daughter! I think she has been learning from her Mum :).

Becky said...

Lovely piece of writing and wonderful family connections.

sky-blu-pink said...

Lovely heartwarming post! Well done to Clara!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

This is so cool, Rinda. I love that so many people pull together to support Clara (and the rest of the team). I'm sure that Clara is touched by it as well! :o)

Carola Bartz said...

These are beautiful thoughts you were writing down. It's a wonderful connection - of your daughter's friend and mother, and of your brothers. It is so much more meaningful this way.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

A great story and a wonderful photo!

Karen said...

This is such a wonderful post, and an inspiring photo! Go,Clara! We felt the same way about Matt's soccer community.

Abi said...

You write such beautiful words Rinda. Clara will look back at this and be so glad you recorded it and the bigger story she is a part of. I love the detail you have told us and love that the photo has so much going on behind it.

Irene said...

Clara is blessed to have a wonderful family to show up to support and cheer her on. Cousin love to read the story behind your photos.

Anonymous said...

it's fantastic to see Clara coming into her own!!

Mariana

Miriam said...

A truly beautiful PHC Rinda, both words and picture.
the life you describe in just one picture is wonderful.

Andria said...

I love the story behind this photo, and all of the love and community and family that it represents. Thanks for sharing!

nancy y said...

Such determination, and although it's a still photo it really captures the fact that she is FAST! So happy the team (including the parents) are so supportive! I didn't have that with my son's HS baseball team, at least from the parents.

Carolyn Phillips said...

What a wonderfully supportive community.

Alison said...

Love this post, Rinda...so much love in it!
Alison xx

Gail said...

What a wonderful post Rinda, it brought some tears to my eyes at the thought of all those people pulling together to cheer each other on and cheer for others.