Aftergetting cut from the basketball team freshman year, I decided to sign up forwinter track. Little did I know that this decision would lead to two years oftrials, tribulations and absolute enjoyment!
For my first season, I wasrather hesitant to race, even though I remained committed to the daily practices.Every time my coach posted the list of athletes who were invited to attend thenext track meet, I would take my pen and scribble out my name. I now realize thatI cheated myself of many accomplishments. Luckily, when the spring season came, Iknocked some sense into myself and raced whenever I was asked to. It's amazinghow much you can learn about your strengths and weaknesses by participating in asport!
Every time I stepped onto the tar in my blue and yellow uniform andheard the gun go off, I challenged myself to do what I had never thought possible- run so fast I could no longer feel my body. This challenge has continuedthrough indoor and outdoor track seasons during sophomore year, and is beginningagain with my junior year. Constantly pushing myself to lift more, run faster andbe more motivated has brought both good and bad experiences.
During one800-meter race at a 200-meter track, I inadvertently thought it was 600 metersand gave everything I had left during the third lap. Stepping off the track afterthat race, I burst into tears out of utter disappointment and embarrassment.Luckily, my coaches and teammates were there to let me know they had made similarmistakes. This horrible experience helped me realize that even though failureoccurs, there will always be a second chance. My second chance was qualifying forAll States with the other members of my 4x800 meter relay team.
As bad asthings can get, there is always a bright side. Simply trying is not enough, everysecond deserves your best effort. Roll with the bad and good things will come.These are three of the many lessons I have learned from running with the trackteam. Track is what I am proud of and what keeps me going when life gets rough.I'm sure any person participating in any sport understands.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.