We know the spring of 2020 was rough for you. We are guessing you spent the time cooped up in someone's basement, backpack, garage, or trunk. You were probably wondering what the heck was going on, wondering why you had been benched for so long.
We wanted you to know that we missed you dearly during that time and are so happy to see you again.
By the way, have we told you lately that we love you?
We love you in all the colors, especially blue! We love you in the shiny finish and the matte finish. We love you beat-up and brand new. We love you in our right hand and in our left hand. We love you on the straights and we love you on the turns. We love you in the blind exchanges where only you can see the catastrophes that often unfold. We love you in the visual exchanges where there is a little more room for error.
We love you in the short, explosive, powerful legs of the 4x100 and in the longer grinds of the DMR. We hope that you do not mind our sweaty palms occasionally mixed with a little bit of snot.
This is how we show our love.
Also, we are sorry that we sometimes drop you. The pinging sound that you make when you hit the ground, just as the crowd groans, breaks our hearts. We are going to try to do better. We will also try really hard to pass you within the exchange zone.
But seriously it is kinda confusing and we just run out of room so quickly! We are also sorry for the times that we have tossed you aside on the in-field or stored you away with the implements. And even more, we are sorry for the times that we left you at the track, all alone, while the bus pulled away.
We really did take you for granted, then the pandemic came and we realized how truly blessed we were to have you in our lives. We can now honestly appreciate that you have always been there for us, with us, not quite attached to us. And that you will always be there for us whether we cross the line first, last, or somewhere in between (unless of course we drop you again – sorry in advance- – the DNF is the worst).
We had a few questions for you. Do you get dizzy with all the circles? Do you prefer a hot day or a cold one? Is indoor or outdoor your favorite? So many questions, we really wish you could talk.
As the sun sets on the 2021 season and we look forward to the thrill of the indoor track, we want to take a minute to thank you. For your dedication to our quest, whatever it may be, for always believing in us and for always leading the way. We are and always will be grateful to have you in our lives. So thrilled to be together again.
The Relay Team
Dear Baton was written by Kathleen Beebe (who picked up a baton again in the spring of 2021 to run the DMR after a 30-year hiatus from the relay team).
A big thank you to our sponsor this edition, Runner Coffee! Visit their site runnercoffeeco.com and use code Theoval15 for 15% off