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:
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
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!