You remember those special people who have left this world, some way to soon, some having lived a full and wonderful life. Are you like me where your memories fade, you can't quite remember the specifics of the relationship? The one thing you will always remember is that they changed your life, maybe not in big ways, but lots of small ways that made you who you are today.
Footprints were left on my heart by Coach Grimes (his footprints look more like track spikes) and I knew it while he was here and I REALLY knew it after he was gone. Today is the anniversary of this great man's passing and I couldn't be more honored to be "one of Grimes' track girls"
Grimes believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. He chewed my ass when I needed it, he encouraged me when I needed to know that someone believed in me, he joked with me when I was so nervous I couldn't speak for fear of throwing up somewhere on that infield and he was ALWAYS, ALWAYS on the far corner to help me through the final turn of a 4 or 8 hundred. When you needed him, he could always be found on the final corner. Even today, when I step foot on a track, I look to the corner and I see him there....leaning on the fence.
Grimes gave me my only State Championship of my high school career, yes I was part of the team on the track, but he took me and turned me into a true runner. Granted I was never the fastest, I was never the smartest (he said I'd make him sick because I'd shoot out in an 800 way too fast, passing everyone I could in the first turn), but he demanded that I gave my all each and every time I stepped onto the track. He expected hard work, he expected me to give my best, and he made me want to do my best even in my least favorite sport and in a race that I fought him on for nearly 3 years....and for that he gave me my only high school state championship and a teammate forever.
I thought I'd just have one post about Coach Grimes this week, but as I prepared to write and searched for words that would really do him justice...miracles were happening in his parents, Stacey and Gatekeeper's lives. They all met and were able to listen to Coach Grimes heart. Stay tuned this week for more footprints left by the man.