How about another post with my dad in it? This one is a little different, though. Today’s favorite photo from 2022 is actually a photo I took at the Wayne County Cross Country Championship of my nephew, Beau.
Our daughter, Piper, ran cross country this year, and it was a lot of fun for us to go to the meets to watch her run—and to occasionally get to see Beau run. Unfortunately, Piper broke her leg the week before the county championship, so she was not able to run at this meet. Instead, she just crutched around as well as she could to encourage her friends, teammates, and cousin.
Beau Polen totally impressed me with this run! It’s not that he is not a great athlete. He is! But this was his first year running cross country, and he had set a pretty audacious goal for himself. He wanted to finish within the top 10 at the county championship.
On paper, he was not really a top 10 runner. There were other runners there who had consistently been putting up better numbers than Beau, and had been doing it much longer than Beau.
But I don’t think they were nearly as determined as Beau.
On the day of the county meet, Beau ran his heart out. He absolutely killed it. He ran a personal best on a really tough course and finished in 10th place!
While he was running his heart out, I was running from point to point to cheer him on, and to try to capture his run as well as I could with my trusty camera.
It wasn’t really until I got home that I realized one of the photos I took had my dad, Beau’s grandpa, cheering him on in the background.
Beau is a great guy. He is becoming a truly great man. I’m sure he is proud of his finish at the county championship—as he should be—but it really is his work ethic and character that he should be most proud of.
Medals fade and are forgotten about. Character transcends time.
Here in this photo is a hardworking teenager who is becoming a truly great man, and a truly great man who’s life and character has made a positive impact on multiple generations.