My High School Sweetheart Wasn't A Person
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My High School Sweetheart Wasn't A Person

And I hated running before I loved it.

My High School Sweetheart Wasn't A Person
Kansas City

They say you never forget your high school sweetheart and there are plenty of people who find their true love in high school. Some girls fall in love with a boy, I just happened to fall in love with a big oval with eight lanes and my heart right in the middle of it. Very few people understood it, but it was what it was. I did not love a boy in high school, I loved a sport more than I could every love any boy. Truthfully though it wasn't always a love, just like in every relationship we had our ups and downs starting with the fact that I hated half of it with a fiery passion to feeling like the outside pressure was going to collapse on me all the way to the most memorable moments of life.

As a freshman, there was no one who hated running more than I did, but then I fell head first into a sport that revolved around running. Track and Field, or as it stands for me, Field and Track. To the kids out there thinking, "I can't do track. I hate running!" Try again kiddo, half of the sport involves very little running. If you still have any doubts about how much I hated running, look at my face in the picture above. Enough said. As much as I hated running, I love the pits. Not armpits for you non-track people, my love was in a high jump pit. See it is easier to love a sport you are decent at but it is easier to love a sport that you had to travel a journey with. Trust me we traveled one heck of a journey. Honestly, looking back at it now, there is no way any of my teammates or myself should have been remotely decent at Track and Feild. No really, we ran on a dirt track, high jumped off of what felt like a poorly surfaced parking lot, threw in unmarked rings without cages, when we came out of starting block we had to pound the nails into the dirt with an old shot put. Don't worry though! In the final leg of my years as a Track and Feild competitor they demolished the track; so we ran on the street, honestly, we were constantly in trouble for blocking traffic.

However, despite it all, our program had a coach who gave a damn about his athletes and that is why we were successful. Luckily for me, I had a Dad, who doubled as that coach that stood next to me from the moment I crawled onto the track, to the days I loved the sport so much that it could crush me, all the way to the moment I had to step off of it as a competitor. The reason I found my "high school sweetheart" was because of a coach who didn't let the pressure crush me, a Dad who didn't let me quit because I hated running, and a pain in the neck who made me run the 4x 400-meter relay.

The number of lessons I learned from Track and Field could never be written down. There are too many to ever consider counting. Like any good high school sweetheart, I still think about it. There will probably never be a day that passes where I am untouched by the lessons and love I gained from that silly field surrounded by an eight-lane oval. Every chance I get a chance to participate, I will, whether it be as a volunteer at the Kansas State Track meet or as a coach someday because that is what true love does to someone: it stays with you for life. So to the kids out there who are in high school and think they are weird for not having a "high school sweetheart", you are not weird. You loved something in high school, even if it wasn't a person, you just have to find what it was.

Images courtesy of Delaney Pollart.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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