The beginning of December brings the very first track meets of the year. While the thought of the upcoming meets send a rush of nerves down my spine and sweat on my skin, I must say the start of Track season is something I look forward to all year. It sets the bar for the season and reminds me how lucky I am to be competing in the Division 1 level for a sport that has been with me all of my life.
Running is one of those things that is completely love hate. When I’m doing well, I love it. When I’m not, I hate it. Does it take up a ton of my time? Yes. Is it painful? Yes. But to give it up is something I could never fathom.
It has lifted me up to make me feel as though I was running on clouds, but it has also dropped me down into seemingly insurmountable lows. At the end of the day though, I have always loved running, and I always will. It’s in my blood. You choose the direction in which you go, as fast or as slow as you want. You can see the world while running, testing yourself to the limit by the strength of your will, the desire of your heart, and the determination of your legs and lungs.
As tribute to all of those track athletes who begin their seasons soon here is a little wintery poem I wrote to start off the season:
Twas the night before the season, when all through the track house,
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Their spikes were packed in their bags with care
in hopes that a school record would soon be theirs.
The runners were nestled all safe in warm beds
while visions of winning “ran” in their heads.
So much to remember: sneakers, water, extra clothes to pack
and the most important, can’t forget a good snack!
When all of a sudden in the rooms arose such a clatter
at the crack of dawn goes the alarm clock for the bus, not a laughing matter.
Away to McCann, we ran like the flash
lunge onto the bus, take our seats and get our “cash”.
Driving away in the dark, ipods all-a-hum
getting us in the zone for what is yet to come.
Looking out the window and what should appear?
But the classic Price Chopper pit-stop that brings us great cheer
We stock up on gatorade, bagels, and water,
while some are too sleepy to move and their eyelids totter.
With a little old driver, all lovely and quick
that drives us to the meet, the nerves could make us sick.
We arrive and soon comes the time for the gun to sound
We leave nothing left on the track, as we circle it round and round.
Run, run Red Foxes as fast as you can,
so we can bring the Gold back to McCann!
So why do we run? Why do we beat ourselves up when we lose, and kill ourselves in workouts? As the great Steve Prefontaine once said,
“You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.”
Good luck fellow Red Foxes, and happy running to all!