When I was in high school I was on the track team. Each year, the local school district would sponsor a track and field tournament and invite each school in the district to send representatives from their individual track teams to compete. My specialties were the 100 and 400 meter hurdles, and I was good enough to be selected year after year to represent my school in those meets.
Anyone who runs track knows the that one of the elemental factors for success is achieving a high energy level going into your race. What I used to do back then, before today’s dedicated energy bars or drinks were on the market, was to consume a Mars Bar. I felt that eating my Mars Bar right before competing gave me an edge. And it always worked for me. Until the tournament in my senior year.
As usual, I had my Mars Bar and headed to the track. I was limbering up and feeling good when we were told to take our marks for the 400 meter hurdles. The starter’s gun fired and I got off to a good start. But then the wheels came off the bus at the fourth hurdle. I don’t know if it was the Mars Bar or something else, but just before I reached that fourth hurdle, my stomach started to cramp. I tried to power through the pain, but it slowed me down enough that when I tried to jump the hurdle, I came up a little short. And with my leading leg over the hurdle and my trailing leg behind, I didn’t quite have enough height. As a result, my balls smacked into the top of the hurdle and I fell to the ground writhing in pain.
I was on the ground, doubled over in agony, and I’ll never forget the inspiring words my coach said when he ran out onto the track.
He said, “Get up kid and walk it off.”
Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (tournament), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (meter), Word of the Day Challenge (elemental), Swimmers (Mars), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (walk).