Section 9-I liked one but was better at the other
Oh, please stop! Come on just slow down. Well, that’s great! Fourth place again and there was still more hundred-meter heats left in the race that would most likely push my placing down even more. Overwhelming depression consumed my brain, raining on my mind like a down pore caused when fluffy white clouds change suddenly into black destruction. I just stagger off the track hanging my head in shame. People used to think I was fast, even sometimes the fastest, quickest, steadiest, or finest. This was certainly not the case today or even at last Saturday’s meet. Last year I could swear I was nothing but speed, the nastiest on the track. I’m not sure if it was my age or maybe weight gained from 7th grade to 8th that caused my velocity to become less then extraordinary. Superiority is the dream of most in their element, be it mathematics, dance antics, or video fanatics. Once you’re not superior anymore you strive for it once again, but at some point you just have to move on such as I did.
I thought sprinting was my thing or even my calling, but I guess I hung up the phone on that one. The feeling you get when running for a hundred meters like you have nothing to lose but your pride, of pure showing off, give me another helping of that. Have to be the top primate, the Alpha male. Endurance was sort of an extra talent I had, but didn’t flaunt. If I had a choice though the 200 meters and below any day of the week. The easy way out, a short cut, or something that takes you from point A to point B the fastest was the route I liked to take. That was all. My parents and coach alike realized the hidden ability I possessed in my sprinting body the ability to go for as long as the Energizer Bunny. With the motivation and push from them, my decision was made for me and carried out by me. No more 200 meters and below. Now 400 meters and above. This plan was carried out for the rest of my final track year in middle school.
As if manipulated by a master of slight of hand my fourth and fifth place ribbons were magically now 2nd and 3rds that I loved to look at. I realized the real way to win races is to do something you’re good at and the next guy isn’t. The mile and the 800 meters were the races I starred in. When the other runners saw me in the race I could see their sprits drop like loose change. I never had experiences in sprinting where the runners around me acted, as I was the big cheese they wished to be. That actually gave me little joy to see though because I knew the feeling that happens to me during each race. My stomach churns, calves beg for help, arms drained of juice, brain screaming at me to stop, fear of the guy behind me capturing a second wind, and by the time I was across the finish line I was almost dead. I was a dog who was enclosed behind an electric fence. No matter how many times I got shocked I would to still come back for more.
The end of track season came and I had won many fine ribbons, but there was little joy awarded to me. Those long distance races just weren’t fun, not like the fun from running like the Flash down the lane while going too fast to even have time to think. From result of my successful long distance running in 8th grade it par laid into joining the cross-country team at Eureka High School. This meant harder runs and a heck of longer distances. The shape that my body is in is for long distance and nothing else. I try to sprint short distances but it’s like a geometry student going back and trying to do 6th grade math, they my try their hardest but their mind works differently now and the simplest equations seem maybe foreign. I’m trying to do sprinting in freshmen track but my long distance history pulls me back into training for the mile and other comparable distances. I don’t know, maybe I should have just practiced more. Gotten faster. Built my drive. Improved on something I loved. Instead those adrenaline rushing sprints will have to be something I dream about while running yet another lap toward winning another long race.