In life we will encounter many obstacles, face challenges, setbacks, or experience failure. Getting past these experiences will often times affect our outlook on life. In my short 17 years, I haven’t necessarily had any real world problems. Sports have always been a very big part of my life, so the most challenges I’ve faced in life have been in sports. My biggest set back ever was in track, my freshman year when I was running my best race of the season and I hit a hurdle and wiped out, resulting in a concussion.
My freshman year I struggled the most. It was hard for me to stay motivated in the sport when I was competing against very experienced upper classmen who ran a quick 15 as I was running a very slow 18. As my season went on I became very discouraged. I worked so hard to be able to three step instead of four step, as my coach had me convinced that three stepping would cut my time down by a second. I three stepped in practice many times but never had the confidence to do so in a meet. The day that I would finally try three stepping in a meet came at the last meet before league. I was feeling confident and ready to go. In a man’s voice I heard, “On your marks.” That’s about when my stomach dropped. “Get set.” At this point, my entire body was shaking. I felt as if every ounce of confidence I had was gone. In the short about of time between “Get set” and the gun firing, I thought of every bad scenario possible. My biggest fear of all was hitting a hurdle and wiping out.
As the gun fired, I took off out of the blocks and made it over all 10 hurdles. I didn’t hit a hurdle, didn’t wipe out, and the best part, I three stepped over half the hurdles, which I was more that satisfied with. The worst part was, that was just prelims. I went through this same process for finals but one little thing went wrong. On the sixth hurdle, my trail leg caught the hurdle and I wiped out in front of everyone. My biggest fear in track became reality. It happened so quickly I had absolutely no time to react. The leg getting caught on the hurdle caused my body to flip around and the one thing I remember most is the back of my head bouncing off the track. I had a horrible headache and right then and there, I knew my season was over. After getting that concussion and facing that embarrassment, I had my mind made up. I was done with track.
The next year, my sophomore year, when track season rolled around again my decision on being done with track remained the same. I went to my coach’s classroom and talked to him for about 15 minutes explaining to him why I wanted to be done. By the end of the conversation, he had talked me into participating until at least the first meet and if I completely failed, then he would let me quit. I was very annoyed with this deal, but I agreed to it. Looking back, I’m so grateful this compromise was made, because I ended my sophomore season at Cessna Stadium at state track running a 16.7.
After having such a rough freshman year, and being ready to quit due all the obstacles I had to overcome, I am so glad I didn’t give up. This experience has not only given me a different view on sports, but life all together. I have come to the realization that I can’t be always be great at something right off the bat, and I’m going to get knocked down (literally and figuratively), but I now understand, more than I ever have, that putting in a good amount of effort and heart, I can go far in anything I do.