Today I raced a 5k as part of a run test. And in honor of that (and also as part of the InLinkz party), I’m reliving memories of my first race.
The year was 1987. I was 11 years old and in 7th grade (Eek! I just dated myself!). With nerdy glasses and a nose buried among books, I was never athletic. But that particular year, for reasons best not disclosed to the general public, I wanted to try anything and everything. So I was amongst the most eager awaiting the annual sports meet. And I ran my first race that year.
For something so long ago, I have specific memories of some of the events. Long jump was … a long shot for me.
The Shot Put and Discus were hilarious. I studied long and hard on the trajectory and The weight and the discuss had a mind of their own and flew in every direction except the one I aimed at. I believe they refused to let me have my third shot.
I triumphed at the Javelin, only because the nerd in me figured out a way to plan theoretically and get my spear to stick in the ground, and no one else did. Too bad they eliminated the event in the future meets.
Then came track events.
The first event up was the 400m. About 8 of us girls lined up. 7 super sporty girls who were already whizz kids in field hockey. And … me.
The signal was given and we were off. The other girls ran. I …. errr … put one foot in front of the other and moved forward.
I truly think that I ran as fast as I could, except that the “fast” was crawler. I huffed, and puffed and sweated in the sweltering Indian heat, but … I had yet to complete a loop and a half, when the WHOLE pack of girls finished the race.
I can still vividly remember the whole scene. And the names & faces of the girls who got the first and second place. And exactly where I was, and how out of oomph I was when they finished.
That was the end of my racing career. That was the end of my sporting career.
Although I secretly loved all things sports. My room was plastered with posters of sports players, my crushes were all boys who played sports, I always dreamt of being good at sports. But never again did I line up at the start, waiting for the signal to take off running.
Never again … until March 24, 2010, when I ran the ING Georgia Half Marathon (Yes, yes, I know. My first race was a 13.1. Wouldn’t recommend it) .
Not much changed in terms of my running pace but with the 13 years, my outlook had changed.
No longer did I want to race for the undisclosed reasons, I wanted to race for ME.
For the adrenaline surge it brought me.
For the limits I could test.
For the friendships I would make.
My second race was decidedly better than my first race!
This post was inspired by “Tuesdays on the RUN”