Soccer, it was an okay sport. Basketball, softball, and volleyball were okay too. But I, I was not okay. I have the worst balance issue in the world! In soccer I trip over my own feet, trying to scramble for the ball. In basketball I look like a drunk stumbling all over the place trying to control the ball in a smooth dribble, while all the other girls seem to pull it off with ease. In volleyball the ball always finds its way to my face. Softball, if only I could hit the ball. I am not, and do not think I ever will be talented at contact sports. That is why I chose to run, and joined the track team. I believe in running.
I started going to the winter workouts before track began, and I have to admit I was extremely nervous and self-conscious. I was worried that I would be the worst runner there and everyone would just get annoyed by my slowness. I was wrong.
We prepared to start our laps around the track, all lined up. My stomach had that weird feeling in it, like butterflies fluttering inside with their wings brushing against my skin. It’s just practice, I kept telling myself, don’t be so nervous. But I was and no matter how many times I told myself not to be, I could not stop. The coach yelled go and we started our first lap. Everyone shot off, leaving me and the other freshman girl’s behind. Huffing and puffing, we all made it through the first lap. Each time we did a lap we managed to stay close together. We were our own little team. I was glad that it was not just me lagging behind and that I could run with some one. The coach and the rest of the track team did not even seem bothered that we were slow.
“Don’t worry, you may be out of shape now, but with all the practice and hard work you will improve”, they said.
This made me feel so much better know that I was not being judged and that I would not be this slow forever.
Once the track season started, Monday through Friday we had practice. I must say I love it. I am defiantly not the fastest distance runner, and I am aware of that. I do know, though, that I am not the slowest. One day we had to run the three mile loop. I ran the whole thing without stopping, ignoring the pain and beating three other people. This made me feel so accomplished. Right then I knew I was improving. Running became something more than just trying to get faster and trying to get in shape. It became my life.
Some people may not understand why anyone would love to exercise and push themselves to run three miles without stopping to walk. Or why spend all of their free time staying after school to run instead of going to the mall or movies. I do it because running three miles without stopping makes me feel accomplished, happy, and unstoppable. I still socialize when I run. I have made lots of new friends that are hilarious and entertaining to talk to. My new friend Sarah talks with me every time we run. We talk and love to joke about boys. This helps us take our minds off the strain from running, and makes it that more enjoyable. You have to enjoy what you do, and do what you enjoy.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.