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Ode to two-a-days

David Pressgrove

Two-a-days.

Depending on one’s experience in athletics a variety of adjectives could precede the term describing the annual beginning of fall sports. But as MCHS athletic Director Jim Loughran said last week, each sport’s double up on practice in the late summer heat is a right of passage for an athlete. If they have been training all summer it is something they look forward to and most likely will excel. No training, well the only thing looked forward to is the couch at home after practice.

Two-a-days.

This weekend when I was covering the paintball tournament I heard a MCHS alum say, “Man when I had practice we didn’t even get lines on the field.” The current Bulldog replied, “But they made us cut the lines and paint them ourselves.”

Everyone who made it through their first weeks of practice are heroes in their own minds. It’s just another beautiful thing about sports. No one can take away the stardom that remains in our heads.

Two-a-days.

No term pushes the “back when I was in high school” talk button in men more. Everyone’s double-feature practices were the hardest in the world and they’ll be proud to tell their buddies or their kids about how hard they had it.

“We had fourteen kids go home crying our first day it was so hard,” or “I puked four times the first day of practice” are variations of what you’ll hear when the button is pushed. Of course the numbers vary with age, as one gets older the numbers get bigger. The previous example was probably from a 48-year-old who actually had one teammate go home crying and he watched two people puke during practice. Give him 15 more years and he’ll reach the 20-10 ratio for kids going home to times he puked.

Four-a-days.

I’ll admit I have my own macho man stories. I played football and ran cross country my freshman year in high school and endured four practices. That is true and accurate account. But by the time I have grandchildren to bounce on my knee the story will be something like, “My freshman year in high school I would run from cross country practice to football without any rest. Sometimes I would be so over-worked I wouldn’t remember which practice I was at and I would tackle my cross country teammates and run circles around the football field.”

Two-a-days.

In college the best part of school was the couple of weeks before classes when our schedule was runeathang outruneatsleep. Before we knew it, classes interrupted the beautiful pattern. I’m sure that will be the same feeling for some of the Bulldogs on Thursday, but of course, the schedule in the first sentence didn’t prepare me for a job. It’s sort of like practice was the two pieces of bread in a sandwich while school is the filler, and of course most important part of the sandwich.

Two-a-days.

I went to cover the first day of football practice and puffed my chest and thought, “those hills aren’t bad I’m sure I went harder and our hills were higher.” In all reality we probably did less and the hill was shorter, but please let us have our exaggerations. It’s our livelihood as we grow older and what used t o be a right of passage for ourselves becomes the right of passage into heroville from our children and grandchildren.


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