The days at School in a Soybean Field were quite long, due in large measure to the bus scheduling. My work day typically ran from seven to four-thirty, including drive time to and from school. In the springtime, that is during track season, I voluntarily extended that to five o'clock three days a week.
Leon, strapping, handsome eighth grade lad, aspired to be a high jumper. Although I totally lacked qualification, except for the ability to read and the patience to listen to instruction, I volunteered to "stay over" with Leon as he worked out at the pit. I am not athletic, nor had I ever participated in an athletic endeavor more strenuous than pitching horseshoes.
Leon would meet me at the high jump venue immediately after school and we would work until his mother picked him up about 4:45. Jack, the track coach, had given me a basic routine in which to instruct the lad, and I had supplemented that with library research. After a couple of evenings working together, Leon was warming up with the bar set at four feet, two inches. He said to me, "Go ahead and jump that thing, Teach. Tall as you are, you could step over it." I accepted the challenge, and indeed it was not terribly taxing. But as the bar moved up in two-inch increments, I found that my awkward "scissors" technique demanded extreme exertion and generated failure at about four foot ten. Back to the library for more study.
Long springtime of long time ago told short. I was finally able to stay with Leon through five foot two by using a roll technique. Leon could best that by one peg, and I was very pleased with myself.
But I was getting a bit too old. After all, I would be thirty next year!.