Once again, a re-post from one of my past blogs (I think my very first one). This post has moved to many different blogs with me as It was the first post I was really proud of. It has survived a few edits almost true to its self and many times I have read it wanting to re-live all of it. Its all about overcoming challenges and obstacles and the highs that I have experienced.
When one jumps over the edge, one is bound to land somewhere. – D.H. Lawrence
It’s like going in the deep end of a swimming pool for the first time, that is, showing up to
your fist ever collegiate athletic practice. The first time I ever went in the deep end at the local swimming pool, I was really scared. But now that I look back on I tend to laugh at the experience because the pool was only 5 or 6 feet deep at its deepest point. The same went for my first day of college cross country. I will never forget the workout we ran. 20 x 400m hill repeats with a minuet in between each one. The hill, called Hardrock Hill, by coach, has a road that runs around it at a 3% grade. We would run from part way up the road to the top of the hill, walk down the side of the hill, and do It again. After hammering out the first few reps, the heat of the day began to set in. By about half way I was dead tired and not able to keep up, dehydration and fatigue had crept into my body. My coach told me to stop early, I only had made 16 of the 20 reps.
As with the swimming pool, I now look back on that day and laugh. The workout, although seemingly insane at the time, is by far one of the easier ones I have done in college, and the road is not that steep. Some of our longer training runs in the hills take place on the Mickelson Trail with about the same grade for 7 miles one way. I sometime look back and that work out, wanting to do it, just so I can say I did it, but then again it still does not rank high on “my things to do of running” list.
College running has gotten a lot easier and better since that first day. I count among the highlights: 2 all-conference performances, 2 trips to Cross Country Nationals, and 1 trip to Outdoor Track and Field Nationals. I’ve had varying success on different courses we have race at, but most importantly I have learned to respect running, for it can be a fickle beast. From injuries at just the wrong time, to inconsistent racing, and a very sore body at time, I have tried to work thought it all 1 step, 1 mile at a time. Most of the time, I try to come back stronger than I was before, but a setback is a setback and it always take time to get back where you were.
College is all about going off the deep end in the proverbial swimming pool of life. From the choices and friends to you make, to your activities and classes you are shaping your future and the details are coming in strong. Its O.K. to be scared, I’m sure most of us were the first time we were in the deep end of the swimming pool. I’m glad I decided to stick with running in college. It has molded me, shaped me, and defined who I am and how I approach life. Running and college have led me down some paths I had never considered before, to varying degrees of success and failure.
That strange feeling of jumping in the deep end for the first time and being completely submerged, not touching anything but water, never really leaves during college. But in the end, you surface, gasping for air with a feeling of accomplishment that only comes from doing something the first time.
I have landed somewhere after jumping over the edge upon graduation from college, I’m just still working on getting up on my own two feet and discovering what is around me.