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As my high school coach spoke and handed me the certificate and my teammates clapped in congratulations, I couldn’t help but think that just maybe the “Athlete of the Meet” certificate wasn’t totally reflective of how I actually performed in the last cross country meet.  Each school’s cross country course was known for something and in the case of the latest meet, the Central Catholic cross country course was known for rolling hills and then an incredibly steep grassy ascent, about 1/2 a mile from the 3.1 mile course finish line. In that particular race, my coach was stationed about...

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Yep, mark one for green, one for red, and one for orange, I mumbled to myself as I checked off a vegetable tracking chart that I had just printed.  Like a lot of people, I know most of the "right" things to do to eat well and feel good.  But knowing and doing can be two completely different things.  And while i consider myself to be a diverse eater of vegetables and fruits, when I really started paying attention to what I was consuming, I realized that I in fact didn't eat the range of vegetables i thought i did,...

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“Dad, promise me you won’t come” I said, my voice resounding with that obnoxious combination of teenage annoyance and worry that my plea would go ignored. “Ok, fine I won’t go” he replied, disappointment clearly resonating in his voice.  Maybe he was hoping that his sad response would get me to change my mind, but it didn’t.  For as was typical of kids that age, or at least typical of 15 year old Holly, my main concern was getting what I wanted and it seemed I had succeeded.  For two years in high school, I ran cross country and track...

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Little Kid, Big Inspiration “Get Graham, he’s in next!” I hear the coach yell over to the sideline where the group of blue clad Southington Knights stand waiting.  Hearing Graham’s named be called made me become more alert, but as I watched Graham, who I had been watching carefully since the start of the game, he barely flinched at the sound of his name.  That’s because since the game began, he had been waiting in the ready position.  Not using his time on the sideline to joke around and chat with teammates but instead taking in every moment he was...

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As a teacher for 12 years, I sat in many parent conferences. Depending on the situation, those meetings could either feel like a breeze or be somewhat more nerve wracking.  However, each year, I always had a few conferences that I really looked forward to.  There were kids each year that really stood out to me.  Students who perhaps were not only doing well academically, but who were kind, caring, respectful, hard working and responsible. Each time I sat down to one of those conferences, I found myself wanting to ask the parents for parenting tips, as they had clearly...

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