That’s what I knew every day when I woke up.
All of it.
When I walked into the classroom and when I went to practice I knew it.
Mr. Heath made sure of that.
Because it mattered to him.
The challenge was if we could care as much about it as he did.
If we could do that, well, that is how one team wins 21 Meet of Champions titles.
He never treated Cross Country or Track & Field as peripheral sports.
To him they were the only sports.
That was super important to a 14 year old deciding what sport to commit to.
That mentality brought so many great runners into the program.
They didn’t even know they were runners!
But they wanted to be a part of something special.
Mr. Heath and I didn’t coach the same way.
In fact, we were incredibly different when it came to coaching.
So, we argued.
But, we also laughed.
We laughed more than we argued.
We had fun working so hard.
The bar kept getting raised.
I’ll put those last 4 years we had together at CBA up against anyone’s best 4.
The greatest part was that it got harder and harder to get better and better.
And that made only made it more fun for us.
He didn’t need to do any more in the sport.
His place on the mountaintop was earned years ago.
You could add up the MOC titles of every other coach in NJ and put them in a corner and that pile would be smaller than his.
He kept coaching though.
Because it mattered.
And if something matters to you then dammit do it as best as you can.
That’s something I remember when I think about Mr. Heath.