Pearl’s school is preparing for a cross-country competition at the moment.  All the children will participate  in the school races in a week or two, and the fastest few in each age group go on to regional competitions.

Sadly, Pearl has inherited her enthusiasm and aptitude for running (which is to say, none) from her mother, and not from her father, who was quite the cross-country runner in his school days.

“Cross-country” is a dubious description in this case, as the kids run around the local soccer field once or twice (depending on age group).  Preparation for the race seems to involve running a course around the school a few times a week.  The school is on a hill, so there’s some virtue in that I suppose, but it’s mostly running on concrete.

Yesterday Pearl was wearing sandals, because it was a hot day and we’d both forgotten about the cross-country.  She came a nasty cropper running down the hill, and has deep scrapes (almost gouges) in both knees and one elbow.  There must have been quite a lot of blood, although there was none on her clothes when she came home.  She discovered later that she also has an abrasion and bruise on one hip.

I try not to pass on my negative biases to the children, but I am deeply sympathetic to her not wanting to run any more!

I did have a quick word with her teacher this morning, pointed out that she was more bruised physically than had been earlier apparent, and was understandably reluctant to run today – although she made sure to wear sneakers.  I didn’t ask for her to be excused.  Pearl tells me that she ran one loop and walked the other, and walked carefully down the hill both times, and that was okay.  I’m glad she participated and that the teacher didn’t push her.


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