Summer Update – June 10, 2011

It was a clear evening.  The sun was getting close to the horizon which was bringing on long shadows and cool breeze.  It was the perfect time of the day to be wrapping up the First Term 2011 Tophand Gauntlet Challenge.

(for those of you not familiar with all of the CLJ vernacular, Gauntlet is a came created at CLJ a few years back which capitalizes on the youthful craving for competition, some running but not too much, strategy and throwing things.  Yes, a near perfect game.  It’s played on a basketball court sized field with throwers lining both sidelines.  You use a coated foam ball so it flies well, but doesn’t hurt, even on accidental head shots.  The offensive team’s goal is to run from one baseline to the other without getting hit by the myriad of balls coming from both directions.  A point is scored for every baseline crossed.  When hit, you stop where you’re at, kneel down and start playing defense by blocking balls.  The longer the game goes along the more defenders are now out on the field making scoring more plentiful and throwing more strategic.  Makes easy sense when you watch)

As the evening drew to a close, it was more and more obvious that the final ranch was already running.  They needed just a few to overtake and win.  It was down to the last two runners.  Two cool things happened.  One of our non-traditional athletes – small like me – was near the end because of his size and the chance of getting behind the defense.  He didn’t really want to run, but did want to help his team.  As fate would have it, he made it almost a whole lap, scoring the tying point for his team in the process.  The next guy made it down and back, but got hit crossing the line.  Up to the referee.  Point wins.  Hit makes for a tie.  What do you think.  It was a win.  Hoops.  Hollars.  Hugs.  Then everyone quickly forgot about Gauntlet and went for showers.  Everyone except one guy.  He went from spectator in life to game tying hero.  That was just Tuesday night!

I love watching camp in motion.  If things go the way they’re set up to go, we get moments like these all over camp, in all the activities, almost every class period.  It takes guts to try new things.  It takes guts to shoot guns. It takes guts to set goals.  It takes guts to tempt loss with victory.  It takes guts to be at camp.  It takes guts to send someone to camp.  We know and we value our responsibility every day.  Hopefully all of our guys will get their “gauntlet moment” this week.

Have a good one.

Life is good.  Camp is better.   Gauntlet should fill in during the lockouts.

Written by Blake Smith

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