So this weekend was a little bit of a tourist treat. James and I went to Mitchell, South Dakota to the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University to watch the track and field meet there. What a facility! Mitchell is also home to the world’s only corn palace. In case anyone is wondering what on earth that is, I have shared some pictures with the largest being to the left. The Corn Palace is a large event center and the murals on the outside are made with actual kernels of corn. The two big pictures that I noticed were of Willie Nelson and Elvis. The others, I didn’t really take the time to look at that well. The girls in the picture are Paulina and a fellow thrower. They were quite hungry after their competitions and we have permission to take them to eat. We also brought food back for a third girl who was content to sit and wait for our return. I insisted that we run across town to see the Corn Palace so I could get some pictures. I knew that the girls had not seen it before, but had no idea that James didn’t either.
Today when James’ brother and wife and two sisters stopped at our place, we found out that inside the Corn Palace in some area where photos of past events are displayed, there is a picture of James’ father, Albertus. He used to be a corn seed dealer and one year won a trip to a convention there because of being the top salesman for the year in his brand. Wow!! Now we have to go back and spend some time inside and maybe even visit some of the shops across the street. I am thinking that the next time the Annual Conference meeting is in Sioux Falls we take a little road trip on the way down or the way back and you can go through Mitchell on the way to Sioux Falls without going much out of your way. Maybe this sounds like a “take the grandkids along” sort of trip again. Come to think of it, I have never been tot he park in Sioux Falls where the falls are. Might be worth a visit.
Anyway, the other part of the trip was to see the meet. Paulina was leading the competition in the bag throw on paper going into the meet and won the thing with her first throw. It was pretty fun to watch. I was so sure that some other thrower would come back and get a fantastic toss, but I am starting to learn that throw and its mechanics enough to know when it isn’t going to work for them. The key to the distance is the speed in the ring while spinning. It was obvious on some that the bag was going to stall out in mid-air because it just didn’t have the torque. Sort of a wild event, and really nerve wracking for someone who was a runner while competing. I did throw shot put briefly in high school, but was never taught anything about form or technique and probably should have been disqualified for the way I did it.
Anyway, back to the event on Saturday. She ended up throwing a 15.10M which is 49′ 6 1/2″. Going in her best was a 14.84M. Her first throw was 14.88. She also threw 14.80 and 14.96. Second place was 13.99, so there was never an issue, but unlike a race where you see the competition the whole time, this event can drive a spectator crazy because you don’t have any idea what might happen.
The miler on the men’s team was running as she was warming up and we were able to cheer for him. He improved his time by 5 seconds and qualified for the National Meet in March, pretty exciting to watch that, and one of the girls made the standard in the 600 meters, now that is the race that I would have loved, but we didn’t have that distance. In college I ran 400 or 800 and some hurdles, but mostly not that well after my first year. Oh well, it was fun at the time, got me a little scholarship money and helped me make some friends, and sometimes that is what it is about. For this daughter, I am seeing how it is helping with her confidence and leadership abilities. Since she is going into teaching and coaching, this is pretty much all part of the learning curve for her future.
Anyway, I just wanted to share our day. The older I get the more I am beginning to understand the importance of doing these things while we are still able. The day will come when we are not able to maneuver the drive, then we won’t be able to leave the house and finally we will reach the no more getting out of the chair point of life. We can only hope that is down the road a few years, but one never knows.