I just want to write about it. Track season is always on my mind which can be both a positive and negative. My life has forever been changed by the sport and can easily explain why. The journey I’ve gone on for the past three years, going on four, has developed me into the person I am today. It has taught me that hard work gets you places, you don’t have to win to succeed, life is all about mindset, and that if you want something bad enough, anything is possible.
Track and field has empowered me in almost every aspect of my life. Grades, how to prioritize, focus, being serious when need be, how to have fun while working hard and the list goes on. My grades are very good, I’m the valedictorian of my graduating class, and have the sport to blame partially. I used to be scared to work hard, begging my track coach to go easy on me. Never doing homework. When high school hit however, I realized the best things come from hard work. Coming up short at the state championships made me hungrier for the next year. My academics were no different. I wanted to get the best grades, and I now knew that meant hard-work. Prioritizing homework, on top of a workout, getting enough rest for a big meet, and sacrificing social time for my own recharging. These things are very hard to make cohesive, but I’ve gotten much better at them. Focus. It’s crazy to think about how focused I get in track. I get “in the zone” and don’t leave it until I’m finished with whatever I’m working on. When practice time rolls around, I almost feel like a different Emma. I like this “alter ego” I sometimes get and use that in other ways in my life. People at times, say however, I am too serious when it comes to sports and I need to relax a bit. My friends I’ve come closer to in track help balance it all out. We have fun while practicing, singing rock and roll songs, SWEAT CUTS, dancing, fun jokes, handshakes, wearing weird outfits to practice and meets, and the list goes on. I love track because of the people who make life a little sweeter.
The family I have been around through track (hash brown fam) made horrible practices a little more tolerable. We saw each other’s best days, but also some of our worst. The relationships I have built with girls on my relays, and my coaches will always stay with me forever. I’ve been able to build a trust with them and I can’t thank God enough for giving me such incredibly, caring and time-investing people in my life who really want to be present around me. My junior year, when the greatest disappointment hit that our relay team that was ranked first at the state championship dropped the baton, my world came to a crashing halt (for about 30 minutes until my next event). The disappointment, not on other people but myself. I wanted to get that medal for myself, but also for my school and coaches who spent so much damn time and energy they didn’t have to put into me. They were invested just as much as I was. Third year in a row coming up short in a relay gets old let me tell you.
Mindset, mindset, mindset. After dropping the baton, I went on to become state champ in the 2b 100 meter dash. It was a very proud moment. I had waited a really long time to stand on that first place spot and wave to my parents and coach that I hopefully made proud. Things won’t always go the way you want, but your mindset determines how you’ll bounce back. I wasn’t going to let all my hard work through the season get put in the trash because of one mistake. Moral of the story, I’ve learned to be tough in life and that I can be very strong when I need to be and wipe away tears somewhat fast.
Sacrificing things to set you up for success later has been a huge challenge for me, but well worth it. I sacrifice a lot of time into running, a lot of “no’s” to social events, and after school activities. Learning that in the years to come, I’ll be sacrificing much more, one day I’ll have kids hahaha. Yeah, that’s a sacrifice to my social time. I do it though because I’ve already reaped the benefits of giving time up, food up, and even homework up to succeed in track. I’m so thankful I did because I wouldn’t be where I am now, going in with a straight head on my shoulders my last season READY for whats to come.
Before each race I say a prayer. God has been with me through it all, and He is with me at the start of each race. I calm down, and believe He has me in the palm of his hand. He has allowed me to be so blessed by this journey and life lessons it track has given me, I’m so thankful for who I am now going though the sport. Running sucks, but it teaches you a lot thats for sure. Pushing yourself so much that you don’t think you’ll make it through, but you always do come out stronger. Faster. Trust the process and believe in yourself. I’ll hold onto this value forever. In the wise words of Voorhees, “it’s not the grades you make, it’s the hands you shake.” Thank you track and field, it’s been a pleasure. I STILL GOT MY LAST SEASON THOUGH I’M PSYCHED!!!!!