This kid has been on my mind and in my prayers for some reason. Prayers for Parker. I’m happy to report he seems to have come through it all and to be healing well. It was really a gruesome accident, the kind your mother always warned you about, “put that down before you lose an eye!” He’s a miracle kid who seems to have suffered no brain damage and retained vision in his eye, so I am quite pleased for him.
“Parker Kennedy, a recent graduate of Hood River Valley High School, impaled himself after tripping over his cleats and falling onto the throwing spear during pre-meet warm ups.”-link here
This kid was on his way to competing in Spokane so he brought back some fond memories of track meets I got to attend both as a kid and as a mom.
I enjoyed track and field as a kid and only spent a few years doing it, 5th grade, 7th grade and 11 grade. Those were the only three years I attended school, but track was a highlight each time. I wasn’t very good, but I sure did have fun. I managed to win ribbons and even lettered in 11th grade. Ha! That was a miracle, too.
We were always on coed teams, we didn’t compete coed at a regional level or state, but the boys and girls practiced together and competed locally against one another. These were small schools. Boys were vastly stronger, faster, and could throw farther, hands down, even in 5th grade when they were still smaller than us. “Javelins” in 5th grade looked a bit different than the ones used in high school and college.
There was no competition, but that really was what made it so much fun. Of course there was some friendly competition, boys against girls, but for the most part the boys all just knew they were faster, stronger, so they simply encouraged the girls, showed us tricks, cheered us on. There was a great spirit of camaraderie, and all though I can’t quite call boys that age “gentleman,” they really were like brothers, somewhat protective of us and always encouraging.
I learned an awful lot about physics in track, about force and motion, about speed. Boys are often heavier than girls, they have more muscle mass and it weighs more. You can look about the same size on the outside, but we’re just designed differently. Force, mass, acceleration, these things really matter.
I do hope Parker Kennedy lives to a ripe old age and someday he can quip to his grandchildren, “yep, I once jabbed a javelin through my head and lived to tell the tale.” Maybe someday he’ll get to meet all the people who prayed for him, too.