Getting Started

by

Kris Hoey

Kris Hoey

By: Kris Hoey
Women’s Cross Country Coach

Where do I start….I think most of the fall sport coaches will agree that the last two weeks have flown by with the start of preseason to our first competition this past weekend.  We get to do a lot of things we don’t have time for in the regular season so it is a really busy time but a very fun time too!

We started preseason with a trip to Skylark (the university owned Christmas tree farm/meeting center on the Blue Ridge Parkway).  We do fun team stuff like make tye dye t- shirts, locker room decorations, and this year we made running journals for our cross town friends, the women’s cross country team at VMI.  I really like to take the team up there to Skylark because it is very beautiful and peaceful (you kinda feel like you are at the top of the world), it is about 10 degrees cooler than it is down here in Lexington, but mostly because there never seems to be another complaint about the hills back here in Lex after doing a couple of runs up on the parkway.

We had a fun session with Burr Datz, (he is the Director of Leadership Development here at Washington and Lee). We were able to do a lot of team building activities with the final challenge called the Pamper Pole.  Essentially it is a wooden pole that goes about 30 feet in the air and you climb to the top, stand on the 1’x1’ square piece of wood and attempt to swat a yellow ball hanging from the ceiling …oh and you are doing all this while the rest of the team tries to keep the pole steady by pulling the attached ropes in  4 different directions.  I have my ideas as to why it is called the “Pamper Pole”!?

Every year we do some type of community service during preseason.  This year I decided we would volunteer at the Charlottesville four-miler.  It is a women’s only race benefiting the UVA’s Cancer Center Breast Care Program.  One of the reasons we decided to volunteer at the race is to honor two of our “Moms” on the team.  These two very strong women are going through treatments for the disease right now.  The promise of Starbucks helped the team roll of out bed in time to meet the van at 5:25am.  We were at the water stop at 1.9 miles. There were over 3000 people in the race, so we gave out a lot of water!  What a great experience…..we were thanked so many times for being there by the runners and we felt really great about it!  Giving back to the community is one of the things our teams here at Washington and Lee do very well.  From Friends of Jaclyn, the care boxes for the troops, to Campus Kitchen’s,  the Generals athletic teams contribute to the community in ways that bring hope to those in need and joy to everyone involved.

The first athletic weekend for most fall sports was this past weekend.  The 2009 Generals Cross Country Invitational was just one of the athletics events in a weekend of many.  With volleyball, field hockey and football at home as well, the athletics arena was buzzing.  It was great to see so many of our fans out and about.  Thank you to each and every one of you for all your support!

What a fun start to the year! I can’t wait to see what the coming weeks will bring for the Generals.

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