Track and field. Saying this to me is the equivalent of saying “run and collapse of exhaustion or getting speared by a javelin.” But for some reason, a few days before the first day of track and field practice, I decided to go. I have no idea why I felt compelled to join. I am not a very active person, except for in gym class where I thoroughly enjoyed working out and becoming healthier. But other than gym, the most active I get during a normal day in my life is walking to the fridge or pantry. Kind of pathetic, eh? So maybe I felt motivated to join track and field because I wanted to not be a lazy useless waste of space for once.
So, I went to get a physical just like everyone else so that I could join. But things didn’t go well. The nurse practitioner that examined me thought she heard an irregular heartbeat. For those who don’t know (which was me at the time of the examination) an irregular heartbeat is when the second beat of your heart is split into two mini beats. So, a normal heart goes boom boom, boom boom, boom boom and so on and so forth. Mine went, boom boom-boom, boom boom-boom. Kinda weird right? Because of this I wasn’t cleared to play and had to wait until I had an appointment with my actual doctor. Surprisingly, I kept my cool and didn’t really worry about having a potentially messed up heart. My mom, however, was a little nervous. She had an appointment ready two days later with an actual doctor.
Meanwhile, track and field started and was going on without me. I wasn’t really upset about it, just mostly irritated that I would be missing important information and how things go at practice and all that.
The appointment with the real doc went swimmingly. She had me do some exercises to get my heart rate up and then listened to my heart. She said something along the lines of “I don’t hear an irregular heartbeat per say, but there is something that’s a little off.” Well cool. I think.
The doctor then ordered an E.K.G. which stands for electrocardiogram. This fancy thing of science sends electric pulses throughout your chest which means something to the smart doctors. The nurse has to put a bunch of sticker thingies all over my chest and then attach wires to the stickers and then turn the E.K.G machine on. The whole procedure was like 5 minutes, tops. It was actually really cool.
So then I had to play the waiting game for a few days until finally I got the results back that said… (drumroll please)…. That I was completely fine. Wow. Ok. At this point I had already missed the first whole week of track and field and I didn’t even feel like doing it anymore. But I did eventually talk myself back into it and so I went to my first track and field practice.
Now, I am a very self conscious person in general, but dear God, I have never been so nervous before about running. I was so worried about being behind everyone and looking dumb and walking the whole time, and I was thinking of all these ridiculous scenarios that would never happen and it was just sad. Luckily I have a good friend who really helped me out a lot and made me feel somewhat comfortable.
Until we had to separate into groups. I was put into distance and my friend was a sprinter or hurdler. I still don’t know why? Anyway, I was on my own. And to no one’s surprise I was the slowest one out there and I was behind everyone and I was walking a lot. But, what really surprised me was that I genuinely enjoyed it. Sure it was painful and my lungs burned and I was probably going to have an out of body experience if I had kept running that day but, it was actually fun. And my friend was there at the end of practice to talk to me and it was a good time.
The next thing I know, a whole week of track practice has come and gone and it was painful. My legs were dead sore. Like, one morning I went to get up out of my bed and fell down. It was a rough week. But I enjoyed every day of practice and I will continue to enjoy the rest of the season.
So what’s the moral of the story? My lesson to you, my royal subjects, is that you should try something new. It doesn’t even need to be a sport. Just anything. Get through that first week of pain and see how you feel about whatever it is you’re doing. Find that little bit of motivation you didn’t know you had and try something new. Get a support group, some people who will help you and encourage you along the way. Who knows, maybe you’ll love it. Or hate it. It’s really up to you.