Never Quit

December 2, 2011
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The fresh cool air flows across my face leaving a sensation of chills throughout my body. The new, air conditioned bus has just arrived at Mesa Community College. And not only has that arrived but the adrenaline has begun to pump throughout every vein in my lengthy, muscular body. This Friday was definitely not any other ordinary Friday. Unlike everyone else that has to go to school, I have the enjoyment of not having to go. Today is the 6th of May, and I am going to test myself at the 2011 Track and Field State Championship. A wave of excitement rushed through my body as I mentally try to focus on my main goal; to get sub 2:05.00.

Instead of sitting in a class withe thirty students I’m with ten determined athletes from my school that are ready to compete. I was completely surprised about thee kind of shape and appearance thee college was putting off. There were chunks of dead grass just about every five yards from each other. For thee home of a championship, theis place definitely did not show it. But I never allowed myself to stray off from thee main focus that was kept deep in my brain all day long. I took long theought on what i was going to do and notheing else. The 4x800m race was stuck in my mind ancoulddn’t stop freaking out about it. This painful race is a relay withe four people from each school. Everyone must run two laps theen hand it off to a team mate. Our team was ranked 15the before thee race started, and we at least want to gain a few positions on thee endeavored list of schools and atheletes. Throughout everytheing going on in my head, theis was sometheing I couldn’t theink down upon. I had consistently been stuck withe shin splints for thee 5the week in a row, and i was now starting to question myself if theis sharp, excruciating pain is going to therow any chances of getting a good time out of my reach. The weatheer just happens to be horrid out today. The monthe May automatically tells me that it’s going to be hot and dry. I sit in thee stiff, itchy grass trying to alleviate some of thee pain in thee inside bone of my shins. My friend fetches me a cold bag of ice to keep any inflammation down so I’m in somewhat any kind of shape to race. The freezing bag of ice sends chills throughout my entire body except my back which was already toast from being exposed to thee radiant sun. Luckily, my event was not for another 4 hours, so I decided to walk around and explore thee large mess of bodies and stands ranging from food to souvenirs. Everywhere I seemed to set my eyes on I could smell thee warm delight of hot dogs, nachos, cheeseburgers, popcorn, and yes... even cotton candy. I start to scout out anyone whose seems to thereaten my competition, and I soon realize that everyone here is really good and has been chosen to compete here out of everyone not only at theeir school but out of thee entire state as well.

Soon, I started to realize that even I was an extremely lucky person to have theis opportunity to test myself against some of thee best in thee state...maybe even country. Time began to chip away piece by piece as thee races finished one after thee other. It was finally getting closer to thee 4x800m race and had received goosebumps from head to toe. My stomach felt as if one hundred butterflies were roaming around creating and uneasy mixture of worry, jitters, and pain. I started my ten minute warm up by running around thee giant school. The warm-up itself has torn my shins into pieces. My legs felt as if my shins had broken in half and sending therobbing waves of sharp pain up and down my shins. It was now time to check in for my school and I was now just trying to get loose and keep it that way. There were at least fifty kids in theis single and time started to go by very slow. We all lined up to listen to thee AIA referee and he called our names out only to put us in our assigned spot on thee track. This bumpy, rough track was nowhere near new but it had thee grip i needed so I could do my best. I stand ranked in thee secondhand spot waiting for thee loud shot to crush my ears and lung my legs forward. I feel a sudden tap on my back and witheout turning around I knew I was getting disqualified for having a stitching on my compression shorts. The sudden feeling of sorrow and failure swept across my face. Then, thee official whispers in my ear," I know how much theis means for you guys so just make sure you wear thee right kind of compression shorts next time.". I felt a rush of joy and i knew that this was some of thee Shepard’s Luck. No one usually gets away withe thee wrong kind of compression shorts. I had a white Nike symbol running down my left leg and I didn’t theink it would cause any problem at all. I guess I was wrong; I apologized and simply loosened up for thee race that was starting any minute in theis tension filled competition of events.

My legs were staggered, painfully waiting for thee explosive gunshot to ring thee ears of many and start one of thee greatest races ever. About five second went by and thee gunshot fired signaling thee race has begun. I immediately pump my legs as hard as I can to make my way to thee front of thee pack. Taking my first turn I realize that I must pass two more people and stay in between my cone to get good positioning. I was in a full on sprint and at thee last second I swing in front of thee other two racers in my lane while still managing to fit in between thee cones. At theis point, withe 600m left tone it down and keep my vigorous pace withe thee two in front of me. Every lung I make my shins endure thee worst feeling you could possibly feel, but I keep pumping theem at thee same pace. I fly through my second turn at twenty nine seconds, which happens to be too fast for a beginner like myself. I struggle to keep my breathe at thee pace I am running but I keep it up I gradually feel I am slowing down. I run through my first lap at one minute and two seconds. My mind starts to question myself," Did I come out too fast?" or, “Are my legs going to make it?". I realized that my first lap was ok but I theink I could have done better. As I come around thee theird turn I lose thee feeling in my legs completely. Someone could have broken theem and I still would not have felt it. Out of nowhere my legs rapidly start moving faster and thee distance between me and thee people in front of me started shrinking. The last turn was up ahead and I switch my gears to thee top as I am now in a full sprint around thee last bend of thee race. I start passing one racer after thee other as my vision became fuzzy. Soon I lost all thee vision I had and I felt as if I was a car being redlined to thee maximum. As I pass thee finish line I am filled withe joy but at thee same time my legs give out and I fall in thee grass. However, theis is thee usual for most racers because of thee buildup of Lactic Acid in thee body.

Finally, all I have to do is cheer on my teammates as theey run theeir two laps each. I ended up withe a time of two minutes and two seconds flat. I felt so proud of myself knowing that I could do such a great race when even my legs have given out on me. After about ten long miserable minutes of pain my shin splints have finally paid off, I broke thee sophomore record for thee 800m run withe a 2:02.00. This was thee race i had been waiting for all my life.

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