Although I was very athletic, I was never interested in running track. With tryouts quickly approaching, I knew I needed to decide. My friends would not give me a break they even went as far as asking my mom to make me join the track team. So I decided to try out. I walked outside on a warm autumn day, the sun beamed down with heat against my back, I stepped on the track. The ashy concrete was gray and I could feel the gravel beneath my feet as I joined the other runners and got ready to start the race. The gun went off like a rocket and I shot down the track like a bullet.
After the race I waited on the results to see whether I made the team or not. I felt butterflies rush through my stomach and a tingling chill rush through my spine. When my coach approached the group of nervous girls with the results, I got even more anxious. When she called my name I leaped with excitement. As the season progressed my talents began to form into something my coaches thought was extraordinary. My mom was very proud of me and she supported me throughout the season, but when she got me a personal trainer, it made me not want to run track ever again.
Track was one of the hardest sports I have ever participated in. I hated running so much and getting tired so quickly, and because of the extra effort I had to put forth it made me want to quit. When I got to high school my mom blackmailed me into running track. “You will run track, or you will not cheer. ” I pleaded with her and tried to talk her out of the decision she forced upon me, but she would not change her mind, so I had to satisfy both of our wants. High school track was more competitive and the competition in every event was tougher. One day before practice I had a meeting with my coach.
As I sat down in the cold blue chair, my eyes wandered around the room, and I noticed a collage of athletic pictures, and a glass case full of trophies, plaques, and medals. The gold on the trophies shined like a blazing fire that lit up the dark room; the medals dangled and clapped together like chimes hanging on a porch blowing in the wind on a breezy day in spring. I wondered if I would ever be able to win that many medals. Coach Keddo walked in; he had a short haircut, and he wore a pair of shorts and a faded gray hoodie that read Savannah State University on the front of it.
His calf muscles were the size of watermelons and his voice was deep and indulgent as he began to ask me questions. His voice began firmly “Ms. Flynn why do you want to run track? ” I thought about how to answer the question. I thought of saying so many things, but I did not want him to get the wrong impression, so I timidly answered “I do not know. ” By this time his face was scrunched and wrinkled as if he was confused about my answer. I had nothing else to say because I was not going to tell him the real reason why I was running track. He asked me again “Why do you want to run track? I tried to avoid eye contact, so I stared behind him at the trophy case full of the medals.
As I looked back at him I responded, “I do not, but my mom is making me. ” After my response he had a more puzzled look on his face as if he could not comprehend what I said. Coach Keddo knew I was athletic, so he decided to let me figure out the reason I chose to run track. As weeks went by, I learned many different techniques, drills, and terminology that I never knew existed in the world of track and field. Sprinting and jumping became one of my main aspects of the sport.
When I began running track, I had no idea what a sprint was. I always thought track was just running, I did not think track was such a technical sport. When my coach showed me the drills I would be doing for the rest of the year they looked so hard. He told me one small mistake could make or break your performance. As I sat on the red rubber track, I watched him as his right leg hit the ground and cycled through, while he used his power to bring his right leg back down to the ground I watched his left arm extend from his body while his left leg stretched out covering a great amount of distance.
He leaped into the soft brown sand with his knees up to his chest, and his arms stretched towards the sky as if he were hanging onto a tree. When I attempted to do the drill that my coach presented to me, I could not understand how to make my legs move one way while making my arms move another, but with months of practice I finally grasped the concept. I learned that with running track, you have to have the correct form and posture, your arms have to move at a precise angle, but the dorsiflexion of the feet is the most important.
In order for your spikes to grip the track while running, your feet must point up to the ceiling at all times. I struggled with many of the mechanical aspects of track, but with the teachings and endless support of my coach and mom, I eventually got to the point where it became easier to apply the words, their meaning, and the techniques of track and field to my performance. On the day of my graduation, Coach Keddo walked over to me and asked “Why do you want to run track? I began to look back on the day he first asked me that question.
I remembered staring at the trophy case at the shinning trophies and the clacking medals. They reminded me of how successful I wanted to be. I looked up at him and said “I want to leave my footprints on the world and be remembered for my athletic abilities. ” Running track over the years and being an athlete taught me how to be a leader, how to have discipline, how to believe in myself, and how to embrace a hurdle instead of running away from it.