A coach can teach you more than just a sport.

Run, add more weight, high-kicks now sprint faster--now faster. Those words still echo through my mind when thinking about track and field. The strenuous days of running numerous hills until my lungs felt like they were dragging behind me and lifting weights until my arms wanted to fall off. Because not only did I run, but I threw shot put, discus and sometimes javelin. But the throwing didn't come naturally at first while still continuing to run especially because that eight-pound ball felt like throwing a brick. Then stepped in my coach of six years, Mr.Fassel, who surprisingly believed in me even when I didn't. Because of his determination and faith I decided to stick with it. I will never regret that choice.

The time went on as my freshman and sophomore years passed by. Except this time I decided to stick with the throwing. I was throwing better than I was running, so I decided to cut the running out completely and focus on shot and disc. Coach Fassel made sure that I was always in the gym. And, when I wasn’t in the gym, I was practicing my form, and if I wasn't practicing my form I was running numerous hills. The amount of times I wanted to crawl up into a fetal position and cry is outrageous. But it paid off. By that time I was throwing about 80 feet in discus and 33 feet in shot put, which put me in first place at several track and field invitational’s.

Coach Fassel helped me feel like I actually belonged in something.

Senior year came. I actually made it to state-quals, for those who don’t know, this is the invitational before States for track and field. You had to qualify by winning other invitational’s to even get that far in the games. And I did it, and I was stoked. I wanted to qualify for states at 100 feet for discus, and Fassel knew that. He worked me everyday until then.

Hard. Intense workouts that he continued to remind me would pay off. He even taught me things he remembered from college because he also threw discus then, and it did help me out. He was as excited for me with my passion reflecting off of his dedication of working with me to get that far. We both were getting prepared for the big invitational.

It was a beautiful day the day the Invitational arrived. I caught the bus as Coach Fassel was taking attendance. He flashed me an “are you ready for this” kind of look, as I shot back an “of course” kind of grin. And we were off to the field.

As the time came and I was inside the circle about to throw my last throw of 89 feet and 93 feet, I decide to concentrate. Concentrating as hard as I could on what Coach Fassel said behind me before I stepped in for the last time of my track and field career:

“No matter what you throw I want to thank you. From the eighth grade to now, your senior year, you've decided to stick with me. And it is for this moment right here. You and I have worked for not only the distance or the ranking. But also for something you can happily say you put your everything into. So finish it. I am very proud of you.”

My turn was up and I threw a 99.3. But as mad as I got at myself every other time I was relaxed and happy. I gave it my all and I was proud. I wouldn’t still be proud to this day of my dedication and hard work without my coach who taught me way more than just a sport.