I ran track for ONE season in middle school and it was HORRENDOUSLY AWFUL. I have not the slightest clue why I signed up. It probably revolved around the common theme in my life of WISHING I was athletic and failing miserably at it every. time. Regardless, I was on the track team. We ran after school and I hated ever step I took. I hated the uniforms. I hated the running. I LOVED the socializing. I loved the thought of getting a ribbon. I LOVED LOVED the thought of getting my name on the announcements the next day for placing. I LOVED LOVED LOVED the idea of being known as Laura---the race winner.
Gearing up for our first official middle school track meet was a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement for wearing my new running shoes---dread for the actual running part. I was assigned to run the mile. Four laps-------my worst nightmare. I had no idea that you actually had to be really fast to get assigned the awesome race---the 400--the one laper. The slower kids had to run the mile.
Brushing off the disappointment of not getting the "cake walk" one lap I remember thinking to myself that I COULD run four laps---I'd done it before. It COULD happen. I COULD still win, and get a ribbon, and become famous.
The gun fired-and I was off. slowly. By lap three I was in the back---the last girl. I was trying and failing......my pride was stuck to the bottom of my dirty shoe and I could see my friends crossing the finish line. The only smart thing for me to do was obviously double over in pretend pain and scream out that "I SPRAINED MY ANKLE OHHHHH MMYYYYYYY WORRRRDDDDDDDD"
I faked a sprained ankle.
Embarrassed. Ashamed. In Pain. and DONE---I fell to the ground and pretended like I couldn't move. In my 12 year old brain it was 'brilliant' . It was broken. I had a just experienced a career-ending sprain. Retire my reeboks, coach---A promising career was ended before it could truly start--TRAGIC. The tears were real. It was one of the most miserable moments of my teenage life--that dreaded race. Coaches carried me off the field---and I believe there were even some claps.
My running career was over and I became the track "manager" the next day thus ending my dreams of ribbons and hearing my name on the school announcements. A day that was filled with tragedy and secret joyous relief.
So my race is in a month. It's FOUR AND A HALF MILES. And this will be the SECOND race I've ever ran in and hopefully the FIRST ONE I ever finish. :)