23 2 mins 14 yrs

I went to a cross country meet yesterday. No winds, no smoke and much cooler than last weekend. A perfect day for running. The meet included high-school finalists from all over Southern California. Cross country…three miles, numerous switch-backs, up and down the dusty hills. A test of mental and physical endurance, training, and natural ability. 

The kids run in teams of 7 select athletes, and most teams have mottos for the season. They  print the mottos on the backs of their t-shirts and wear them around, like bumper stickers on cars.  

My favorite motto was:  My Team’s Goal Is To Beat Your Team’s Goal

My son’s team had two mottos: Want Is Not Enough and  Together Everybody Achieves More

Here’s a photo of one:  Suck It Up. Tough It Out. And Do Your Best


I didn’t see any mottos urging the redistribution of winning points to the losing teams.  And nobody was wasting any sentiment feeling sorry for runner’s  who had trained poorly, or those with shorter legs or  heavy builds.  Of course, fair play and good sportsmanship were required, and for the most part each kid tried their very best to win, for themselves and for their team.  

Future capitalists of America.  Cross-country runners. 

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23 thoughts on “Sunday Reflections from California

  1. >>Future capitalists of America. Cross-country runners. <<

    I wonder how many of them supported McCain?

    But nice story, Patty. There is a constant blizzard of snow here and it’s nice to see pictures of those fine young creatures running in the sun.

  2. Well,Noel, you asked for stories from the sunny coast. I can’t help if it’s always nice here. A bit dry, though.

    And most of my son’s friends were rabid Obama supporters. Socialism won the debate so the happy prosperity won’t be forever. We’ll be poorer, sadder, and more like Europe any day now so you can be happy.

  3. Yes. Your right, Allan. Mexico-lite, coming soon. San Francisco will be Amsterdam. And New York, to the elite Manhattanites utmost delight, will be Paris. Utah will be Sweden (same homogenity)

    Probably Texas will look most like Ireland and that’s where I’ll move.

  4. >>And New York, to the elite Manhattanites utmost delight, will be Paris.<<

    Yikes, first time I read that I thought you said "Mahonsites"!

    Patty, do you think a foreign-born should be prevented from becoming Governor, just as one can’t become President ?

  5. Noel: "do you think a foreign-born should be prevented from becoming Governor, just as one can’t become President ?"

    No. I don’t even see why a person foreign born shouldn’t become President.

    The States is an Idea – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness — not a nationality, nor a genetic code.

    America isn’t prosperous and wonderful because of a group of people, but because of the govt. system that maximizes individual freedoms, that allows individuals – of any nationality – to pursue happiness.

    The strength of America are the foreign born who come here and embrace freedom.

    I don’t think Communists (or Marxists) should be allowed to become President. Or Governor. (I’m not saying Arnold is any of this) But, if that’s the will of the people who am I to complain. Maybe freedom is just too much for most people.

  6. Patty, just read victor davis hanson’s "Mexifornia", very interesting. Re Texas, come on over, we’ll keep the light on fer ya!

  7. Not really Charles. Yes we have a lot more immigrants now but the geenral attitudes, sense of humour, lifestyle and culture of the British people remains. The US and it’s people have a particular ethos, lifestyles and principles of operating and that will survive Obama as it did Bush ,Clinton and other individual presidents. Yu are not going to turn into brainwashed synchronised passive North Koreans you know.

  8. Cool mottos.
    Strictly in the context of a sporting competition, I guess the "My team’s goal" is the best one.
    In terms of society in general, I’d like to opt for "together, we all achieve more", although sadly the world doesn’t often seem to run on such a basis.

  9. The U.S. Constitution prohibits a foreign born person to become President, and I think it was a wise idea. Other than that, I don’t mind any other job being held by an immigrant.

    My cross country team had the best incentive of all to be on varsity. The scholl couldn’t afford uniforms for the varsity and the junior varsity, so if you were on the Junior Varsity, you got to wear the uniforms AFTER the varsity guys ran. Who needs a motto to motivate you then?

  10. Colm – No, the shirts stunk.

    Oh, you mean the presidency thing? Yeah, it was a wise idea. Intially because as a developing nation it might have been susceptible to foreign influence. And the prohibition keeps some foreign government from sending over one of their own to run, finaces him or her, and gains control. It is imperfect, but it has worked.

  11. Mahons

    I hardly think that is a serious concern nowadays. Surely a citizen who perhaps came to the States as a tiny child and who has spent virtually his entire life in the States and has no memory of his birth country and is in attitude, patriotism and sense of belonging as American as anyone else should not be prevented from running for the highest office just because his mother popped him out in another land ?

  12. In Britain, anyone can become PM, as long as he is, you know, "one of us" and not "one of them". Because it’s bad enough when one of us turns out to be one of them, even worse when two of us turn out to be one of…err, two of them. Before you know where you are, all of us could turn out to be all of them!
    (copyright "Yes Minister")

  13. Colm – Look at it this way, you still can run for Prime Minister – as the BSP: British Sanity Party. Of course, membership is presently low.

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