The Confessions of a Washed Up Track Star

In sports, when the buzzer goes, the game ends.

So I guess the most confusing part of my sport is that – when the gun fires, we don’t stop, we go. When the clock starts, we run, we throw, we decide when to start the jump, the throw, the race – and then we decide what line to finish on and whether or not we want to keep our mark – or scratch it.

In my sport, we don’t have a final buzzer. We leave the end open- ended and because of this… well maybe that is why I can’t see an end to what I feel as though I barely started.

I Never Saw It In A Dream – But it Became Real

Five years ago – I didn’t dream of being here. I never imagined that I would be good enough to be where I am. But, I also never thought it would hurt this much to leave.

When your race ends, you walk away. In 5 years I have watched countless people walk away when it was their time to, but I never thought that watching them walk meant losing what it meant to be a part of a true and cohesive team.

One Team – No Longer a Dream

Three years ago I was part of a team, one that cheered and pushed and expected things of one another. Three years ago I was part of something bigger than myself, but today it just feels like I’m chasing that feeling like a dream deferred.


Harlem
BY LANGSTON HUGHES
What happens to a dream deferred?

     Does it dry up
     like a raisin in the sun?
     Or fester like a sore—
     And then run?
     Does it stink like rotten meat?
     Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

     Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

PoetryFoundation.org

We all know the feeling of a dream deferred. The feeling of watching something you love slip through your finger tips like the string of a balloon leaving your hand at a crowded park with no one to save it as it flies away.

I never thought of Track and Field as my dream deferred – I never thought of it as something that could turn sour, but today, as I watch something rot and crust and sag – I realize that this love, like all others in my life have blinded me to how broken it is.

I Cannot and Do Not Win Without Them – And THIS is why We Do Not Win at all.

People assume that Track is a solo sport – It isn’t, but then again you cannot spell “Field” without “I” and I often feel that the Field part of Track and Field is forgotten – so maybe it fits. Because some times outside of my squad I feel like an I in a crowd of we’s.

It’s funny though.

The word team doesn’t have “I” in it – but if you re-arrange the letters it can say “ME”. And when I realize that, it gets me thinking how “We” turned into “Me” and “me” turned into a losing battle against myself.

A No Win Situation

Most days I ask questions I shouldn’t, ones that lead my coach to tell me to keep my nose out of it. But I personally cannot sit on my hands and be happy when this is not the team I signed up for.

AND I AM NOT ALONE

These are My Confessions

Today I am stuck. I am stuck watching people suffer because the sport they fell in love with is pushing them away as quickly as it held them close and honestly, I never thought it would be like that because two or three years ago it wasn’t.

Today I’m stuck. Stuck watching some fall to over confidence and others fail by not believing in themselves.

Today I’m waiting for something I used to have. Questioning if it was ever real in the first place and wondering if team is made by bonds among friends or by coaches who refused to take our shit.

Today I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of washed up and irrelevant, but tomorrow everything could change.

In Other Sports

In other sports we are made to stop when the buzzer fades, when the teams walk off the court – but in my sport we decide when to cross the finish line and while I can see mine inching closer, I still have too much to do to admit that it’s over.

In other sports they leave everything on the court, but in my sport I take control and me? I’ve just begun.

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