Cross Country Is Also… (The Sequel)

My Cross Country Is… verse from 2015 was well received so why not follow it up with a sequel? May your summer training be cool, wet and weirdly wonderful.

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6F0A3825Cross Country is difficult to explain to your non-running friends. So difficult you have given up trying and answer their quizzical looks with a mischievous grin.

Cross Country is that deep intellectual conversation you and your teammates have with your coach about farting while on an early-morning training run.

Cross Country is a life-long sport that teaches discipline, self-sacrifice and team goals that you will rely on many years after your last race is run.

Cross Country is the post-race treats table lovingly prepared by your parents that silently awaits the ravaging attack of zombie runners brought back to life by bagels, Fruit Loops, bananas and those quickly disappearing glazed donuts. Continue reading

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Be An October Rose

October Rose JPG

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Cross Country Is…

IMG_2124I wrote my Baseball Is… verse in 1994 as the MLB players went on strike and I feared my son would grow up wondering what this wonderful sport was all about.

My Cross Country Is… verse comes from my experiences with the sport since the 1970s and continues today as I photograph many of the high school meets in the Kansas City area and beyond. I hope you enjoy it.

Cross Country Is…

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My Annual Tip Of The Cap / Baseball Is… How I Spent My Youth

Why do I post my Baseball Is… verse each Opening Day? Because of letters like the one below.

Mr. Hall,

I know that your poem “Baseball Is…” is over 20 years old now. But I just read it for the first time when I was researching the Cincinnati Reds’ opening day (which is tomorrow 4/06/2015). Of which I’m taking my son to his very first opening day. I’ll admit, your poem brought a tear to my eye thinking about my dad.

I remember him very vividly taking me out of my elementary school class “kidnapping me” as he called it, to my first opening day when I was my own son’s age. Him playing catch with me in the backyard and coming to all of my games. HE NEVER MISSED ONE GAME all the way from little league through college when I played for Hanover College.

My dad has been gone for several years now. But before he passed away from colon cancer, I am so thankful that he had the opportunity to hold my son and love on my boy for the last bit of time we had left with him.

I won’t write you a book any more than I already have, but thank you so much for bringing those great memories back through your writing and the reassurance that I will have many great memories to be made still with my son. It really made my day. God bless you. Sincerely, David

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I wrote Baseball Is… in 1994 just as the MLB Players union went out on strike. Our first son was just a few months old at the time and I asked myself how I would describe to him this game I so loved if the MLB players never returned. How would you explain baseball to a ten-year-old who had never experienced the game? That son is now 21 years old, as is this poem. These are the words I chose.

Baseball Is…

Baseball is grass, chalk and dirt
Displayed the same yet differently
In every park that has ever heard the words, “Play ball!”

Baseball is a passion that that bonds and divides all those who know it.

Baseball is a pair of hands stained with newsprint,
A set of eyes squinting to read a box score,
And a brow creased in an attempt to recreate a three-hour game from an inch-square block of type.

Baseball is the hat I wear to mow the lawn. Continue reading

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Boston Bound KC Dinner Set For April 12th At Fox & Hound In OP

Boston MarathonIt has become a tradition for the Kansas City area runners who are registered to run the venerable Boston Marathon to meet in Kansas City the weekend before they travel to Beantown and the Back Bay. This gathering has become known as Boston Bound KC. Both first-time Boston runners as well as those who have run Boston more than a dozen times come together to share stories, make new friends and reacquaint with old pals. Some of my favorite running relationships were born here in 2013. Hard to believe there was a time when so many of us were strangers. Now – I run into BBKC runners at every race (and on the street) no matter the place.  Continue reading

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OTC: That Dent In My Couch Is About To Get Some Time To Heal Itself

My Off The Couch column and the comments section that follows each column has always been a source of pride. I enjoyed the chance to share my thoughts with those who bothered to read my work. I write with a pointed opinion and I expected nothing less from those readers who agreed or disagreed with my stance on a subject.

The comments from readers – both pro and con – were just as entertaining for me and many of my readers.

Somewhere along the way that changed.

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OTC: Chiefs Refuse To Allow Their Fans To Feel Good About Life By Losing To The Winless & Clueless Raiders

“CHOKELAND”
Headline, following Oakland’s 24-20 upset of the Chiefs, in the Kansas City Star’s Sports Daily
GH: I am proud of the Kansas City Star for running this banner headline in the Friday newspaper. The local newspaper should report the news, offer opinions on the news and entertain its readers. This headline went three-for-three.

“It reminded me of Missouri’s loss to Indiana.”
Steven St. John, comparing Mizzou’s loss to the worst team in the Big Ten (0-6 in the B1G) to the Chiefs loss to the previously winless Raiders, 810 AM

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