Hands shaking, I was tying my blue laces on my white track spikes, and then untying them only to tie them again. To say I was nervous was an understatement. It was a hot and humid day. Typical Texas weather; mid-90s, and sunny without a cloud in the sky, not what any runner would hope for. But for some reason I was cold, the grass I was sitting on seemed to freeze my insides, despite my warm-up stretches and drills three minutes prior. The paper bib number on my singlet was heavy. The scent of concession stand food didn't appeal to me as it normally had; it now just made knots in my stomach. My teammates surrounded me, only no one spoke. Everyone had their headphones in, focusing on themselves. "Women's 100m hurdlers check in" those were the words I was dreading. With every ounce of strength I had I forced myself to walk to the white tent and get my lane assignment for the race. Whilst in the tent my other competitors were telling each other the times they had run, all their times were seconds faster than me. And in track, seconds are a huge difference. I took a chair towards the back and tried to take my mind off what I was about to do. I re-pinned my bib number yet again, and stabbed my finger with the safety pin in the process. Then I tried focusing on the white plastic chair. The one I chose to sit on was lopsided, and any movement I made caused it to rock on three legs. I sat there watching the others, waiting. Looking at the other girls didn’t help my nervousness though. All the other girls looked so intimidating. Their leg muscles were bulging, their arm muscles defined, their faces stern. There was no way these girls could take me seriously; I had blue tie-dye socks on and a matching bow in my high ponytail. The track official called for us and we were walked onto the track. My hands were shaking so setting my blocks was a challenge. "On your mark" everyone got in position in their blocks. I put my head down and a drop of sweat fell on my bib. That sweat droplet helped take my mind off the race, only until the official brought me back to the race; "Set." The gun sounded "POW!" While running I didn’t even feel conscience, all I remember were the screams and hollers that I couldn’t decipher. At the finish line we were handed a piece of paper with our time and were then sent to await results. The nervousness had past, and now I sat there wiping sweat off onto my excessively tight, and somewhat itchy, singlet. The results were in, and I was awarded 3rd place! While 3rd place isn't great, I was ecstatic. Third place wouldn’t have happened either if it wasn’t for that bib number. I was able to ease my nervousness for just the right amount of time because of that sweat drop that fell on it. The feat was so special to me because that was my first AAU track meet. My first meet for a new team and my first meet without my parents or friends there to watch. It was a major feat, one of the proudest moments I’ve ever had as a runner.
nervousness used to electrify
September 24, 2012