“Are you ready?” I asked Terrence.
“More nervous,” he answered, bouncing between his heels and his toes.
“Don’t be, Coach Daniels is totally cool when it comes to tryouts. Just do what you do best, run.”
Terrence chuckled. “I don’t know, I’m not used to running in the evening.”
“Sorry about that. But trust me, you’re going to do great.”
Terrence rolled his neck and let out a sigh. “Thanks. But it’s your job to tell me that.”
“No, it’s my job to guide you through your tryout. Not to pep talk you. My mentor didn’t pep talk me.”
He laughed and gave me a small smile. “Thanks.” He cocked an eyebrow at me. “You had to tryout?”
I nodded. “Well, I’m not sure if I had to, but I did anyways.”
“You guys ready down there?” Coach Daniels called from the stands.
“Terrence?” I asked.
He slowly nodded.
“Ready when you are,” I called back up to Coach.
“Alright, go for it.”
“We’re gonna start off with a mile jog. You’re not looking to impress anyone with this time, it’s just to get your body moving.”
“Actually, I’m looking to impress with everything I do,” Terrence corrected me.
“Aren’t you the smart aleck?” I teased, as we rounded the first corner.
“So are you feeling better?”
“For the most part, how bad I look on tour?”
“It slowly got worse. In the gym was when I really got nervous for you.”
“That’s when I really started feeling it.”
“Were you sick?”
I nodded. “Very sick.”
“But now you can practice? Is that smart?”
“Is it smart? Probably not. But no one ever accused me of being smart.”
He laughed. “So if you throw up on me…?”
“It’s your welcome to the team present.”
“I’m not on the team.”
“Yet my friend, yet,” I said, as we rounded the second corner.
“So do you do this before every practice?”
“Every afternoon practice, just to warm-up before we specialize.”
“But you jump hurdles right? So why are you my mentor? I don’t jump hurdles.”
“Because I’m the newest kid on the team. That’s how it works.”
“So the newest kid gets to mentor the next one.”
I nodded. “That’s essentially how it works.”
We talked throughout the entire mile, and Terrence grew on me. He had a sarcastic sense of humor and was actually pretty intelligent.
“Alright, now comes the fun part,” I said, as we crossed the finish line.
“I thought we were already having fun?”
“That’s the warm-up to the fun.”
“So remind me what you do again,” I said, waiting for Coach to give me the go-ahead signal.