I ran track my sophomore year in high school. I was a half miler. I had never competed in a sport like that before… well I did play some basketball at the boys club back in the 6th grade but this was the only thing I ever did that involved other schools.
It was strange to run track back then. Mainly because we didn’t have one… that is we didn’t have a track. I guess the school system just didn’t have the money for a football field and a track at the time the school was built so all of our track meets were on the road. To practice we did conditioning work in the gym and when it was warm enough and not raining we would run around the big field out behind the gym. I think there are tennis courts there now.
I can remember they had marked off what they thought was about what a quarter mile would be and we ran it until we ran a path down into the grass. It was tough training but I did love traveling to the meets. It was difficult for me, not being one that had learned much about how teams worked… about being confident in yourself… about working your hardest during practice so that the meets themselves weren’t so difficult.
It’s unfortunate that when I was young… and in possession of that 18 year old body… that I didn’t understand what it was I had… but you know something…. I am glad that I have at least developed the knowledge to understand it…. although it’s almost 40 years later…
So I’ll get up in the morning and once again… continue to work at whipping this 53 year old body into the best shape it can be… and while I’m on that tread mill in the middle of that 5 miles I will close my eyes and for a brief moment… I’ll reach back and feel 18 again… if only for that split second….