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Saturday, April 29, 2017
You're about to head out for your junior/senior prom, and some of you believe the hardest part was asking your date. There's so much more to this. Get ready.
Yes, you were inspired to think of the prettiest, classiest, "top tier," most "knock-out gorgeous" young lady you knew and then ask her to the prom. And you succeeded. It's only fair to fill you in on three of the many reasons, and now ultimate responsibilities, that you have in this date you're going on tonight.
1. The goal of asking this perfectly awesome young lady to a very memorable and special dinner and dance was to get you and your teammates out of a comfort zone you've long been in. Your circle of close friends from the team just doubled when you complete this date. You have succeeded in this first task admirably and with some well thought out creativity. But you're not done. In fact, all you've done is enter the race.
2. This is a tremendous test of your skill, agility, ability, and understanding of how to be a gentleman. Of all the things you already know, have been taught, seen modeled by the best of parents and family, this is your chance to showcase your current levels of chivalry. After all, you are KNIGHTS.
What is chivalry? In a nutshell, it is the combination of qualities expected of an ideal KNIGHT, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and readiness to help those in need.
Courage: You have demonstrated the courage to ask such a phenomenal young lady to this dance.
Honor: Her family, as well as yours, expects you to treat this young lady like the most special beauty on earth. Allow her to be herself fully by being on your best of behaviors.
Courtesy: Everything you do has her best interests in mind. Holding and opening doors. Waiting for her to start eating. Offering a coat, handkerchief, arm, or seat are always general courtesies you should extend to your date.
Justice: Remember that no father of your date has any problem with dispensing justice should you not be the KNIGHT we know you really are.
Readiness to Help Others: Your "wing-men" on this mission are your teammates. Keep them close, but not so close that people would think your teammate was your date instead of the lovely lady you invited. And when it's time to dance, you WILL get up and dance with your date and the team.
3. When you go with your "pack," apply the Geese Lessons during cross country season: give powerful encouragement and compliments, stick together, call your teammate (including your date!) up to stay in the pack, and keep your pack together. Include everyone from your team. Leave no runner, or date, behind.
In addition to these few reasons why prom was a good motivator for you, please accept these experiences and thoughts in mind as you go about your remaining hours of "prom weekend:"
a. You continue to represent our cross country and track programs when you wear the tux. You are a KNIGHT 24/7, act with chivalry the entire time.
b. When it's time for pictures, smile for 95% of them, and behave. The other 5%, be goofy. You're kids.
c. When you eat dinner, remember that THIS is NOT a race! Use the napkin, slow down, chew with your mouth closed and only speak after you've swallowed. Act with class and grace.
d. When your date needs something, be the first to respond and help. Check in with your date and ask if she needs anything. Work according to your good judgment and intuition.
e. When it's time to dance, get off your butt and go see this as a workout. You're not afraid to lift in front of girls in the weight room. You have no problem running in short-shorts without a shirt on (off campus, of course) in public. Go watch and learn quickly, listen to the music, sing along to the music, and enjoy the dance itself. YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY BE A WORSE DANCER THAN COACH CLAREY, so go take that next risk and have fun. Same pack fundamentals as running. Go together, stick together, dance together (dates included, of course!), and have fun together. You will regret sitting out, when you want to be in the lineup. The lineup is on the floor. Go dance like you compete.
f. When the dance is over, and you're nearing the end of your night, just like a race, you need to finish strong. Make good choices. Be in the right place at the right time with the right people, doing the right things. Remember that not only is this your prom, but it's HER PROM. Be the gentleman she will be proud to have called her date, 100% of the way.
This prom will be an amazing experience for you. This is the start of new, bigger things, exciting things. Most of all, this is an opportunity to test yourself and be great. In life, there are many memorable moments. Make this a great time with your date, with your teammates, with your family and friends.
We've long said that there will always be better runners, but never a better team. Be a great teammate, be a great date, be a KNIGHT.