Getting on Track

Luke - Westminster West, Vermont
Entered on March 25, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

I’ve always liked sports, during high school I’ve played football, soccer, and basketball, but for some reason I always looked down on track. I guess that I didn’t really consider it to be a real sport, it seemed to individual for me because I have always been a part of a team when I play sports. Additionally, I thought track was almost all running, and to me running is something that you do to train for another sport, I don’t really see it as a sport by itself. Another thing was that there is not one winner and one loser in track. I’m used to either winning or losing, not getting 1st, 2nd, 3rd…. place. My last problem with track was the uniforms, I can’t stand how small the shorts are.

However, during my junior year there was a sequence of events that completely changed my views on track. I got in some trouble outside of school which violated a school policy and would result in a suspension for the next sport that I participated in. Normally this wouldn’t have been a huge deal to me, but the next sports season for me was football. Football was very important to me, I was the team captain, and it was my senior season. I was a good player, but not exceptional, so I knew that my senior year would be the last time that I ever laced up a pair of football cleats. Because of all this I decided that there was no way that I was going to let a stupid little mistake ruin something as important to me as my senior season of football. After thinking for awhile, the solution to my problem hit me, I could join track. Then I could serve the suspension in the spring, and not miss any football. To make it even better, track would help get me in great shape for football. I know the track coach and he said I could join even though the season was almost halfway over. I tried throwing javelin, disc, and long jumped, but I wasn’t that good at any of them. Then I tried high jump and I was pretty good at it, more surprisingly I found that I was actually enjoying track. I found that it was really laid back, lots of my friends also did it, and the meets were really fun. I ended up coming in fourth place in the state meet for high jump, and the team came in second.

Towards that end of that track season, the athletic director told me that he never received the necessary paperwork from the police station, so even thought he knew what I did, he decided not to give me a suspension at all. I’m now coming to the end of my senior year, I had a great football season, and I just started training for the first track meet of the season. My goal is to jump six feet in the high jump at states. This time last year I didn’t even think that track was a real sport. Right now the only negative opinion that I still have about track is that the shorts are too small. When I look back at how I got involved in track it makes me wonder if what I did was really a mistake. I believe that some things are just meant to happen.