Track is back!

Finally! The one time every four years that EVERYONE cares about track and field. I love swimming and gymnastics too, don’t get me wrong, but TRACK is the basics:

  • Who can run the fastest?  
  • Who can jump the highest?
  • Who can throw the farthest?
  • Who’s the best at everything? (Answer: Decathletes.)

One of the main reasons I went out for track in eighth grade was because I thought it didn’t require skills beyond running in a straight line. Turns out that the track is an oval and X-C courses go up and down! For the next 8 years I finessed hurdling (ambi-lead-leg), shot-putting (righty), high-jumping (take-off foot: left), triple-jumping (take-off foot: right), and passing a baton (preferred relay leg: third). As a high school pentathlete I devoted many hours to technique, muscle memory and thinking about torque. Then in college I whittled my events down to just jumping. Right now, triple jump is my favorite thing that I can’t do anymore.

(Trust me, I tried. Noticed a sand pit at the track one day while running and couldn’t resist. I made it into the pit – success! – but then I could barely walk for days – worthy sacrifice!)

For all of my fellow track nerds and/or coaches, here are some great books to share:

Nonfiction

Jim Thorpe, Original All-American  – by Joseph Bruchac

Babe Didrikson Zaharias: the Making of a Champion  – by Russell Freedman

Queen of the Track  – written by Heather Lang and illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Track and Field: a True Book  – by Bob Knotts

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman  – written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by David Diaz

Fiction

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z.  – by Kate Messner

Catalyst  – by Laurie Halse Anderson

Darius & Twig  – by Walter Dean Myers

Faceless  – by Alyssa Sheinmel

Feeling Sorry For Celia  – by Jaclyn Moriarty

Ghost  – by Jason Reynolds

Heartbeat – by Sharon Creech

The Runner – by Cynthia Voigt

Track and Field Takedown  – written by Jake Maddox and  illustrated by Eduardo Garcia

I couldn't find a children's book with shot-putting or triple-jumping. Do you know of any? Let me know!