Thursday, February 5, 2009

Leaving My Mark

One of the best feelings in the world, if you ask me, is knowing that you had an impact on somebody or something--that you left something behind. I will be the first to admit that my talents as a runner were never the number one asset for the Bellarmine track team during my four year tenure. I will quickly be a name that came and went on the roster, as any records I was ever a part of setting have probably already been surpassed with the quickly growing and bettering team. However, it brought a smile to my face and a small tug at my heart to realize what I did leave behind: a tradition of fun.
The very first Wacky Friday practice in 2006.
I recently found on the Facebook profile of a former teammate a picture of her and some of the others I used to run with along with several unfamiliar faces in the lobby of Knights Hall dressed in crazy colors, goofy hats and tall socks. The 2009 season has started...and Coach Washington's running group had Wacky Friday. 
As a sophomore at Bellarmine myself and the other girls in my running group initiated a day-before-meeting tradition of dressing ridiculously for our light practice. We were an extremely close group with many of us living in a suite on campus together. The following year we had a strong group of freshman who embraced Wacky Fridays for all that they were. By my senior year most of the girls who'd set the precedent with me had moved on from their collegiate athlete days. Even with the team dynamic changing quickly, Friday practices not always being run the way they once were and many of those who "understood" Wacky Friday being gone, I couldn't let my tradition die before I left. Wacky Friday lived on by my seniority enforcement.

I honestly thought without the understanding of it's origin or the originators around the goofy ritual would surely be over. But indeed it is not. Girls I've never known or had any running connection to put on their wacky attire and headed to practice a week ago. Smiling and posing together I can look at those pictures and know, "Washington still has a good group of girls running with him."
It makes me so proud of last year's freshman to have carried on that bit of fun and team bonding I helped show them last year. I can't help but feel a little pride myself, as well though, to look at those pictures and think I did that. There is a piece of RitaPeat that lives on with Bellarmine Track, and the fact that piece is an element of fun and not an outstanding record, almost makes me more proud.

here the blog post I wrote for my writing for the web class my junior year to learn the history of Wacky Friday and how it came about.

1 comment:

Organic Meatbag said...

Leaving behind a legacy and tradition is totally my tradition of crying every time I see a unicorn! I cry because I know they are magical! And I always celebrate by having a bowl of Count Chocula...