All the Way Around the Track

Luigina I., Jr. High EMC Reporter

Look around you. Nearly everything in life requires multiple components. Without just one piece, something will clatter to the ground. For instance, the chair you sit in currently. Let’s imagine you are the part that cushions your cheeks. Of course you can’t just have the base alone. You need the legs to support and hold you up. I believe that, similar to this example, you need friends to support you in life; otherwise you will crash and fall.


As a track and field athlete, I could not have continued to place one foot in front of the other without my teammates. I would’ve simply given up on running around the ovular asphalt path and throwing shot put. However, my track family stood there with me when I felt like throwing up. They stood there with me when I felt like absolute garbage.

Friendship is a two-way street, and both ends need to do their part. Therefore, I was there to aid them too in times of pain. We made each other chortle and chuckle to the point our stomachs hurt. I additionally discovered that I’m destined to be part of a grandma duo. I even found out that Tyrone (Teagan) can do a killer Sid the Sloth impression. And Kateri can do an amazing Dwayne the Rock Johnson face.

Although I’ve made so many great memories this season, the track meet on the sixth of May is of special significance. It all began while I was exiting the bus that day. I peered down nervously at my sheet of paper which had my events, Yes! My favorite!, I had gotten the 200m. My eyes screened the page further down reluctantly, No! Not the 800m!, I told myself. I trudged off of the bus with my hands trembling from either too much excitement or an empty hollow in the pit in my stomach. Then, I remembered my track fam, and all of the warmup laps I’ve completed with only minor difficulty. A booming voice in my head screamed, “You really think you can do this– what, have you lost your mind or something?” I tried to focus on warming up, but then something else hits me. Not the incessant blabber in my mind, not that uncomfortable nervous feeling, nor my shaking hands. 

Pain struck my shins like a sharp shiny, tiny  dagger was getting shoved deeper and deeper down. I nearly collapsed, but I have to finish my warm up lap I told myself, but I couldn’t. The air in my lungs was nearly diminished, so I began to walk. However, I heard a voice shout,  “Jogging guys, not walking!” I push myself hard, and I think I’m going to pass out. What feels like an eternity later, the first event commences, 55m hurdles, and I’m right up next for the 200m. “Just sit out, it’s not like you would do good normally,” shouts the voice in my mind. My legs had a different idea though, and they began limping towards the starting line.

I take a deep breath to fill my lungs and nostrils with air, scented by freshly cut grass. I take a lane. “On your marks,” I step up to the line feeling somewhat confident. “Get set,” my buttocks rise, just like my spirits. You’re in this, right here, right now, no going back. “Go!” I propel myself forward with ease, and once I start going, my legs begin to feel numb. My team chants my name and I set a new PR for myself. As soon as I’m done, I sat down and a tear began to slowly roll down my cheek, now two, three, and four. Simultaneously, almost the entire track team starts to surround me. One, two, three, four more people rush to my side. The pain was back in the side of my calves now, bigger and badder than before.

Kam asks me, “Are you okay? What’s wrong?” I shakily tell her, “It j-just… it hurts, so bad.” My mom joins the huddle: “Are you okay honey?” I softly say, “I’m o-okay.” Both my coaches fuse into the minute crowd. One inquired, “Would you like some ice?” The other kindly added, “Do you think you can still run the 800m?” Someone calls out, “Ice is on the way, just hold tight.” It’s not like I could move anyway. Even though they are simply trying to help, I longed to be alone, in my warm, cozy bed, with a movie playing, and a heating pad close by.

I waddle a little distance over to Kam who is rapidly rummaging to prepare an ice bag for me. “I think I can still run,” I declare to all of them. My inner voice erupted. Still run?! What is wrong with you?! Ha, you thought. You’ll most likely crash and fall halfway. Who am I kidding? Not even halfway. Everyone is huddled around me and my excruciating shins. My mom hushes in my ear, “make sure you don’t push yourself too hard. If you need to stop you can stop,” I’m not stopping today.

A couple other events give my throbbing legs some time to rest, and the little crowd disperses. I cheer on my teammates as they zoom through the faded red track. Except now, it’s my turn to shine. One step at a time, I make my way to the starting line for the last time, looking like a wounded duck. Some distant voices are saying, “You go G-Money! You got this.” Deep breaths, okay not even that’s going to work, that’s how hopeless you are. Phewwwwwww! The whistle has been blown to my surprise without the full “on your marks, get set, go” warning.

Mae screeches above all other voices, “Pump those arms!” The rest of the team is mixed into one voice shouting, “You can do it! Push on the last part! You go girl, wooooo!” I can’t believe it. Wow! I’m on the last 200m already? I can do this! My legs turn numb once more, I sprint. The faint breeze brushes briskly against my sweat-coated cheeks. I feel, free. Finishing in first place at 3 minutes and 23 seconds is, me!

By my last meet I was glad to have the 800m again, and with my track team beside me, I was able to get past throwing up and finish in first at 3:06. I was also able to break past my 200m PR at 33 seconds. I was even able to throw the shot put farther than I did at the track meet on May 6th by 2 feet. The point is, I would’ve never accomplished what I have at the track meet against Duanesburg or Fonda unaccompanied by my team and my coaches. My family. And I just want to say thank you to them for such a great season.