The Life Race

January 17, 2011
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Six days a week, for fifteen weeks. Over two hundred and thirty hours of practice. With infinite seconds of sleepless nights. It all boils down to: two minutes. These two minutes consist of, nothing more than heart pumping, body moving, driven force. With only my coach’s voice in the back of my head, “Come on Dick.”

Running long distance track is not something I expected to do in high school, but it is never a decision I will regret. At first I thought, it wouldn’t be that bad, its only long distance. But I quickly found out this would be the greatest challenge I would have to overcome.

Honestly, long distance was not my thing. I never ran more than a mile a week. When the season started, I was running more than four miles a day! I’ll admit quitting was an option I considered, but I never quit a sport before. And I was not planning on doing so anytime soon.

It was rough the first few weeks. I had more aches and pains then I did when I was in a car crash. Everyday I stuck with it, I grew stronger physically and mentally. Being pushed to my limits constantly, I learned true self discipline. I could have faked an injury and took the day off. But I knew if I did that, the next day would be even harder.

Hours of practice and constant dedication all lead up to the one thing that made it all worth something. Two minutes. I ran the eight hundred meter which was about two minutes long. I never ran it before and when I did in my first track meet, it was a complete failure. I started to strong in the beginning and was exhausted at the end. I didn’t think I could even finish the race.

Looking back at that race, my coach told me to set time goals for myself each race. I kept at it and each race my time got shorter. I started getting ribbons from track meets that actually had a place written on them. At this point, I felt that maybe my main goal could be accomplished this season. That was to get first place in a race.

It was the last track meet of my season and I still never reached my main goal. I was nervous for this race. I worked hard the last couple practices knowing this was it for me. I needed to prove to myself that I could do this. After six days a week, for fifteen weeks. Over two hundred and thirty hours of practice. Two minutes is all that was left.

The sound of gun went off and my season counted down by the seconds. I started off at good pace, like my coach trained me. Behind four guys, I had to make the decision to get passed them one by one. We run two laps around the track. I had passed third and forth guy the first lap. Only second and first were blocking my goal then. It came down to the last hundred meter stretch. All of us running parallel with each other, it was going to be won by less than a foot. I made it all the way here and failure was not an option anymore. At the last step I leaned forward to get that extra foot and I was victorious. It was not just first place that made it satisfying. The fact that for those fifteen weeks I pursued my goal to the end and that was the win itself.





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