For most of us, the heat wave has sapped energy and made spirits sag. But for a bus load of Baltimore youngsters, the heat hardly matters. They are leaving today for one of those unforgettable childhood experiences -- a trip that will broaden their horizons, challenge their bodies and sharpen their mental discipline.
These young people are the cream of the city Parks and Recreation Department's track and field program, which is open to boys and girls ages 7 through 18. Their destination is Chapel Hill, N.C., where they will compete in The Athletic Congress (TAC), a National Junior Olympics event. The bus returns late Sunday, only to leave again on Tuesday for Tallahassee, Fla., where the city will be well represented in the Amateur Athletic Union's National Junior Olympics meet. Some of the youngsters will continue from there to Atlanta for the U.S. Youth Games.
With all that to look forward to, why let a heat wave get you down? Or, for that matter, why let drugs or too-early pregnancies or dropping out of school ruin a chance to see the world, perhaps collect some medals and certainly earn some self-esteem? As Ralph Durant, the coach and driving force behind this remarkable program, reminds city children, running is its own natural high.