My Start as an Athlete Part 2

I finished my last post talking about my experience as a freshman in high school playing volleyball. The only thing I discovered playing volleyball was that I jumped higher than everyone else, being an above average jumper would change my course in athletics forever, but I didn’t know it at the time. I finished the volleyball season without quitting, and I learned a lot, however I was not good at it. Going into my sophomore year I decided I’d run indoor track during the winter and play volleyball during the spring season. That fall leading up to the indoor season I actually started running and training on my own, although I had no idea how to train. My idea of preparing for the 800m and the mile was to go out and run a mile as fast as I could that day, then do the same thing the next day. I believed that I should always be faster the next day because I had somehow gotten better the previous day.

I had no idea what it meant to properly condition yourself, I knew nothing about building a base by logging in miles slowly over the weeks, or doing speed workouts to build your speed endurance. I just knew I wanted to be better than everyone else and that meant going out and running as fast as I could. The indoor season rolls around and I’m in much better shape, I’m running faster than everyone else on the team. I came back with a vengeance and with more confidence. Our first meet was at the same school I came last place at running 6:37 in the mile. I was once again running the mile at the same meet, but this time I felt more confident and had a goal of not coming in last, second to last was ok, but just not last. The race began and everyone got out very fast, I did not try to keep up with them, I made sure to run my race, not anyone elses. I felt good throughout the race and I was in the middle of the pack, although I did get lapped by the kid in first place, boy was he fast. I finished the race in 5:44 minutes, almost a whole minute faster than the previous year, but most importantly I did not come last, not even second to last either, I don’t remember my finishing place, but it was the highest I had ever finished.

During a cold December day my coach had us running 200m repeats, I was killing it and I felt great, he wanted us running the 200m repeats in 30-34 seconds, I was hitting 30 seconds consistently, and on the last two 200ms I decided to turn up the intensity, I ran 29 seconds on the first 200m of the remaining two, and for the last one I ran 28 seconds, however I pulled my hamstring on the last one. It was more so a tweak than anything else, it kept me out for the rest of the indoor season. I kept on rehabbing until the spring season came around, I had originally planned to play volleyball but due to my injury and my drive to break some personal records I came back for the outdoor track season.

I spent the majority of my outdoor season rehabbing, and getting in shape. I returned pretty late in the season, my coach decided it would be best that I focus on the 800m since I was not in the best shape due to my injury, my first meet back after rehabbing for three months I ran 2:32 minutes in the 800m, two days later I ran 2:27 minutes in the 800m, and four days later I ran 2:19 minutes, unfortunately It was the last meet for those that did not qualify for the county meet. With such drastic improvements within the week I felt as though I belonged in the 800m, my competitive fire really began burning.

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