by Joseph Hawkins
“About the fact
that the black
is constantly held back
Like 50 tracks back in a relay race
and the white team’s ahead
so let’s keep up the pace” —"The Remedy," A Tribe Called Quest
Skip Grant was my middle school basketball coach. Here a brief write-about on Coach Grant. Andhere’s a link to my old school located in the Mt. Pleasant section of DC.
Later, in life, when I moved to the Shepherd Park section of DC, to my surprise, I discovered that Coach Grant was my neighbor—just two houses down on the same side of the street. At that time, he was at St. Albans, running the school’s athletics, including coaching cross country.
Frequently, Coach Grant and I would run together. I was never a great runner and not particularly fast, but at that time in my life, I was doing local road races—mostly 10K races—for fun. Still, I wanted to get faster and turn in better 10K times. And so, one day when running, I quizzed Coach Grant about how to get faster. I thought he would give me some really complex training program, but instead his advice was two words: “Train fast.” In short, you can’t really improve your real race times unless you practice running faster.
Did this advice work? Yes!