The Trials and Tribulations of Track and Field

I used to dread the winter practices—running in the snow and getting my shoes all soggy and wet—and the overwhelming fear right before the gun goes off signaling the beginning of my race. What if I started too late? Or jumped the gun? What if I came in last place? Track always seemed like a chore—daily practices and long meets, with a lot of unnecessary stress. After a tiring day at school, I would have to find the energy to go to practice and put 100% of my effort into it, if I wanted a chance to improve my race times. Winters were especially bad because we had to run 10 mins through any obstacle—ice, snow, puddles, mud—you name it. When we would get to the Reggie Lewis center, it would feel like there wasn’t enough air for everyone inside. We would practice for almost 2 hours, then run back to school. The best and worst days were meet days. Our meets were almost 5 hours long and sometimes I would have to wait the entire five hours for my event. They were always on Wednesdays, which was tough during finals, midterms, and midyears.

With the unexpected closing of schools, however, I realized that I wasn’t being completely honest with myself. Losing this year’s spring season made me realize that I loved track just as much as I hated it. Even though I didn’t see it then, those daily practices were helping me keep fit and healthy. I could eat all the junk food I liked, and I would be able to let it slide because I had practices every day. Although sitting on the floor of a school bus for an hour wasn’t fun—at all, rushing to buy snacks and secure the last two back rows on the school bus with my friends are memories I will cherish forever. The rush of adrenaline and exhilaration I got after I finished a race made up for all the stress that would take over my body waiting for the starting gun to go off. The memories, both good and bad, that I made during track meets and practices, are ones I will cherish forever. This quarantine made me realize how important track is to me.