The Track Meet

0F9029CA-0416-46BE-81B5-49FB451E1230When 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.

009E09D1-5D5D-4BD8-AD1D-E54842377A2FAnyone 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).

24 thoughts on “The Track Meet

  1. Marilyn Armstrong March 9, 2019 / 3:28 pm

    Well it was a good theory. Obviously you weren’t on track (so to speak) to be an Olympic star and I always thought that looked like a really difficult event. Good for you for trying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marleen March 9, 2019 / 4:19 pm

    Ouch! The hurdles are risky. I remember them being kinda fun. But doing it a few times (literally a few times… not participating in competition a few times) was enough tempting of fate to me.

    I would’ve been better at a 400 than a 100 [and I wish I had participated in cross country in high school (which I enjoyed in junior high years)], but adding in the hurdles is just a bit much really.

    I had to walk off a really dumb decision once after I had been the balance beam person in a gymnastics day in sixth grade. We had a long, iron rail in front of my own house. Enough said.

    I hope you were really okay and didn’t need medical attention… a real possibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lindakempwriter March 9, 2019 / 5:39 pm

    Ah, yes…the tough approach. Always a goodie, and usually ensures that tears are avoided. On other note, every time i read the title of your blog, I think of Seinfeld – the ep called The Deal. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 9, 2019 / 10:48 pm

      I remember that episode. That’s the one where Jerry and Elaine decided to get jiggy with each other, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. crushedcaramel March 10, 2019 / 5:22 am

    Don’t they make some kind of guards to protect vulnerable bits?
    Ay karumba that sounds painful. Love your coach.

    I had the scariest swimming coach – my sisters and I were competitive swimmers for the county club. When I was about six or seven I discovered coffee. Before we went swimming I wanted to drink a coffee with about six biscuits. My mum realized I was making myself strong coffee and binging on biscuits and told me I was not allowed coffee and not so many biscuits. I told her I was sure they mad me swim faster. She would not hear it though! She did not want her little girl addicted to caffeine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 10, 2019 / 7:50 am

      I was wearing an athletic support (jock strap), but it didn’t help much.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. WTG March 10, 2019 / 10:14 am

    You’ve had some interesting things happen over the years. Probably no more than most; it’s just…you’re more willing to share them. Which I love!

    Liked by 1 person

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