High Jumping in T-Town

Go Lauren! Go Shoes!

We drive down to Teutopolis to visit my friend Anne’s family for Easter and a birthday weekend. The village, established in 1839 is located in central Illinois, famous for its German Catholic heritage and wooden shoes which also happen to be the schools mascot. The T-Town Shoes to put it simply. Saturday evening at dusk we watch Anne’s sister Lauren practice her high jumping for the upcoming high school track and field season. The horizontal bar is tucked under the crash mat and weather worn hurdles hold the all weather tarps down. Setting it all up, stretching, warm-ups take about 20 minutes before the real jumping begins. I have to think this little scene is happening at the same time in a few small towns across America. I tell Lauren we are her new official sock sponsor and we all laugh and she says “sure!” I think when I tell people the Midwest can really be beautiful I think of evenings like these.

I have three loves in sports. Track & Field, Tennis and Cycling. Soccer is a strong fourth candidate. While watching Lauren practice I was struck by metaphor of “raising the bar” and how as a former long jumper I missed this metaphorical impetus so common to pole vaulters and high jumpers. I really enjoyed the ritual of helping Lauren “raise the bar” after a series of jumps. Lauren is a self taught high jumper from a small high school and we are so excited to be assisting her with socks to go with her uniform and cool spikes, which when you think about it look a lot like cycling shoes! Go Lauren! Go Shoes!

A study of jumping or a study of an early spring evening