This post is in response to the daily prompt: Walking on the Moon – What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?
I already wrote about transitioning from high school to college running, while along the same lines this post is about coming back from a redshirt year and toeing the line for your first race in almost two years. A little background info: I took the year off from racing for two reasons, one to get ready for ROTC the following summer and two because the injuries were starting to pile up. The team went from having a good amount of experience to having a sophomore leading it with no real sense of direction. Coming back in and racing the following season there was some head butting and power struggles as I worked to try to get back to where I had been. The time frame is early September 2012, my senior year of college.
I remember the day breaking as warm for even early September. There may have been a slight breeze, but all I remember is the sun and the blue sky. I was anxious and nervous and I think everyone knew. Or at least everyone was wondering one thing about me: was I the same person that I was two years ago? Two years ago I was on top of the world, I had qualified for cross country nationals for a second strait time and was feeling unstoppable. That season was one to remember, I ran a PR on every familiar course and had even broken the 26 minute barrier for the first time in an 8k.
I know at least one person was thinking that question: me, along with many other questions. How would my body feel racing again? How would I react to the starting gun.? How fast would I finish? Would I care if I finished first or not? All these big, tormenting questions in the minutes before a dual meet with a brand new program. The intensity got worse and worse as the start time came closer and closer to the point where I wasn’t hyped, I was a nervous wreck.
Every though, care, and question went out the window the moment the starting gun went off. There was a brief hesitation of ‘is this right?’ and then we were off and racing. I can tell you I didn’t win and I didn’t finish all that well but I was still happy. The happiness was coming from something that I had not experienced since high school, team success. We won the dual meet and it really just put everyone on the team in a better mood. Later on, I would realize this was the first step in redefining my self as a team leader, no longer just leading from the front, but leading from the middle of the pack, directing traffic, and overall just making sure everyone pulled their weight for the day.
I can look back at that season and say it was not my best season but it sure was the one where I had the most fun and enjoyed all the memories I made, and in the end that is all that counts.
I can say I was successful walking on a moon, just not the one I wanted to be on originally.