Thursday, April 30, 2009

Ode to Coach Chuck

A friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago that April is poetry month, and having not written any poems in a long time, I decided to do something about it on this last day of April.

Our coaches work hard every week with Team in Training, and especially on Saturdays during the team training. They do so much for us each and every week. But no one has a harder job that the TNT coaches assigned to go to the race with us. They are on the course all day, running back and forth, putting on 30 miles plus. Anyone from TNT that needs help, from any chapter, they help. If a non-TNT racer needs help, they help them. They work their butts off all day.

Our Virginia Team coach in Nashville was Chuck, who was also our assistant run coach for Richmond this season. This is my thank-you to him, to our other Richmond coaches Vicki, Kristi, and Cathy, to all of the TNT coaches at the race, and to TNT coaches all over the US and Canada. Team in Training could not happen without you, and you are appreciated by all of us “Purple People”. You're the best! But especially, this is my thank you to Chuck for all he did for us on a very tough day last Saturday. GO TEAM!!!!!

“Ode to Coach Chuck”

Guitars are humming
Banjo strings pluck
Country Music Team’s coming
Led by Coach Chuck!

From the “Mother of Presidents”
We arrived all a-quiver
There’s Peninsula residents
And folks near the James River

From Mr. Jefferson’s U
And Culpepper up North
And from Ridges of Blue
We all sallied forth

On the eve of the run
Our coach gave us advice
The heat won’t be fun
We’ll be paying a price

But he’ll be on the course
Helping us as we need
As a team, we’re a force
Doing such a good deed

Quite long before dawn
On the morn of our races
We stifled a yawn
But had smiles on our faces

We joined hands as a team
And were led in a cheer
Curing cancer’s our theme
Our goal is quite clear

For 30 miles that hot day
Chuck was all over
Helping us on our way
It was no bed of clover

He’d appear like a ghost
Running fast as a horse
When we needed him most
On that baking racecourse

In his big country hat
And a smile a mile wide
He’d run over to chat
And jog along at our side

Rather late in the day
He met a big fan
She said “I won’t stray
From such a good looking man!”

One by one he’d escort
Each of us towards that line
To the tent we’d report
That we’d finished just fine

Now I can’t be so bold
As to leave out Coach Vicki
She was there on days cold
And on those hot and sticky

And Coaches Cathy and Kristi
Each day walked the walk
Eyes get a bit misty
Just talking this talk

For a cure we race
And we are all blessed
Coach Chuck sets the pace.
Coach Chuck, you’re the best!

Art Ritter
April, 2009

Coach Chuck and me at around mile 5 Saturday

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