What Running Track Means To Me

What Running Track Means To Me

"My sport is your sport's punishment."

"My sport is your sport's punishment."

This is the first quote that appeared on Google Images when I searched up "track quotes" the first night that I began doing track. Track came into my life like serendipity. What is serendipity, you may ask? Well, serendipity is when something absolutely extraordinary happens, and makes you so bizarrely happy, when you were never even looking for anything in the first place. A lot of people use serendipity in context when they meet a girl or a boy and fall in love at first sight.

Track came into my life kind of by accident. So, get this. It's the day of my sixteenth birthday. You know me, a sixteen-year-old girl who really just cares about her grades, college, friends and family, and- makeup and clothes. (And hair, I could never forget about my hair.) So, the day of my sixteenth birthday my Grandmom Rose asks if I want to go to the mall to pick some stuff out as presents. (Later on, that turned out to be, a Pink outfit, tan Uggs, and the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Pallete).

Mind you, that was the same exact day that Winter Track started, and well, I wasn't really in a position to choose involuntary running over whatever I want at the mall. Plus, I had a FREE smoothie at California FruitShakes waiting for me. I mean, who could ever resist the peanut butter cup banana smoothie?! Not this girl. So, fair enough, I go to the mall, then I eat dinner at my Grandma. Prior to this, I had been exploring the idea of track.

Initially, I wanted to be a swimmer so badly! This was actually just because my best friend was doing it. In all seriousness, I couldn't swim. Nevertheless, due to the imminent problem that I physically had no idea how to actually swim, my parents said no to swimming. They shut that one down really quickly.

So, I had been considering my options. I can't wrestle, I'm a girl. I don't know how to swim. Can't swim = can't join the diving team. I'm five feet tall, so that meant no basketball for me. But, I had done track in middle school and I genuinely loved it. I didn't do it freshman year because I was trying other things like dance, cheerleading, softball, and the idea never really crossed my mind.

So, the night of my 16th birthday, I decided I would start track literally the next day. Mind you, I hadn't ran since early Fall during field hockey season. So, this was going to be a challenge.

So, the next day, I started track and I basically had absolutely no idea what I was doing. For a while, I struggled, especially when I desperately attempted to run hurdles. Not my strong point, I admit. But, when I decided to stick with sprinting, I absolutely fell in love with the sport from the very beginning.

Maybe It's the endorphins that it releases, maybe it's just because I'm a competitive person, or maybe it's simply because the team is so great and I love everyone who does it so much. Or maybe it's that sense of divine unity and teamwork that the sport brings with it. I'm not sure what it is, but something about track is so compelling to me and attending practice, whatever the weather conditions are, is always the highlight of my day.

Right now? I'm definitely not the best. I can honestly say that I have plenty of work to do. I may be the slowest on the team, or have the worst form on the team (The form - that's a fact!), but all I know is that I have this humongous sense of motivation and drive hanging over my head, and it's definitely not running out anytime soon.

I'm kind of one of those people that when they love something, it becomes their everything and they're, like, obsessed with it. Yeah, some people call that crazy. But, well, I call it passion. I feel like everything you do in life should be done to the best of your ability.

I mean, why not?

Here's what I want - when I grow old someday, let alone, even when I simply go to sleep at night, I want to fall asleep with the state of mind that I did something incredible - I overcame obstacles. I neglected any anxieties and nerves. I worked my hardest and I was my kindest. To every single thing that I did, I gave my all.

I want to stay humble, hustle hard, and at the end of the day, have the power to inspire.

Inspire like these people inspire me.

Allyson Felix.

Florence Griffith Joyner.

Elaine Thompson.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

You are golden.

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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Golden Retrievers:

Mid-Major College Basketball Team Stuns NCAA Tournament Favorite, Top Overall Seed Virginia

It’s the most hyped up, exciting time of the year for sports fans. That’s right, it’s the 2018 NCAA Tournament. This weekend, a handful of power conference and smaller conference college basketball teams took the basketball courts in eager anticipation for a chance to survive and advance toward winning a national championship. However, for top seeded teams, it is also the one opportunity for small, mid-major conference teams to make a name for themselves on national television and become villains to those filling out their brackets.

This has been the case so far. Already, two 13 seeded NCAA men’s basketball teams, the University of Buffalo Bulls and the Marshall Thundering Herd, did damage to every college basketball/sports fans’ brackets, respectively pulling off wins over Arizona and Wichita State, respectively. March madness is alive and well.

But just when the tournament couldn’t get any more wild and crazy, it did last night. The top seeded Virginia Cavaliers, coached by Tony Bennett (not to be confused with the legendary singer), traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina to take on the America East conference tournament champions the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers. A lot of people counted on Virginia to not only win that game, but to advance to the National Championship and ultimately win it. UMBC punched their ticket to the Big Dance by hitting a game-winning jump shot in the America East tournament final against Vermont. Nobody thought they had a chance.

But the players on UMBC truly believed in themselves and their coach, Ryan Odom. The Cavaliers, best known for their excellent play on defense, found themselves surprisingly tied at 21 at the half. Once the second half began, the game got out of reach. The Retrievers played at a faster pace, with more energy, and kept knocking down two-point and three-point jump shots, while giving the Cavaliers a taste of their own medicine: Virginia was held to 54 points the ENTIRE game! In blowing out Virginia 74-54, UMBC became the first ever 16 seed in the tournament to win against a number one seed. Brackets now are totally busted.

UMBC’s road to the tournament was a strange one. They lost to UAlbany by 44 points earlier in the season, and they clinched a spot in the tournament thanks to a game-winning three point shot over the heavily favored top seed, the Vermont Catamounts. And yet, the team had very high levels of confidence, and didn’t feel phased by the underdog label placed on them. The Retrievers did end up losing to Kansas State in the next round, but their performance against Virginia will be remembered as one of the greatest upsets in college basketball and sports history. Once again, the Retrievers, like the other underdog teams who won, proved that the NCAA tournament is the wildest, craziest, up in the air nationally televised sports event ever. Look for them again next season.

Cover Image Credit: thegamblersreport.com

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Jordy Nelson Is The True Packer That Green Bay Will Never Forget

A letter to one of the best to wear green and gold.

This past week, the Green Bay Packers released Jordy Nelson, a truly devastating day for any Packers fan. As what I would call myself, a super fan, I was quite distraught when hearing the news of Nelson's release. Because of this, I have decided that it would be best to get my sadness out through writing an open letter.

Dear Jordy,

The past 10 years have been incredible. Words can not describe how thankful the entirety of Packer nation is to have been able to share the last decade with you. Whether it was coming in clutch during plays, or that infectious smile, you were always able to make your own fans happy, and never disappointed.

When you came into the league, I figured I was around 9 years old. Though your role was not big in your first couple of years in the league, many people knew you'd be destined for some kind of big role on the Pack. As a kid on the playground in 5th grade, I saw your breakout game in Super Bowl XLV and, instantaneously, I wanted to be Jordy Nelson in many games of playground football.

As the years went on, you continued to get better, to the point where you even made yourself into the "got milk?" poster boy all across Wisconsin. Each day in middle school, I remember walking into the cafeteria, seeing a cardboard cut out of you holding milk and would get some milk of my own, just to be like you.

Eventually, you became one of the premier receivers in the NFL, and there was nothing better than watching that Rodgers-Nelson connection week in and week out. In total, we saw you guys combine for 70 touchdowns in your time with the team, while setting team records left and right.

When you tore your ACL in the 2015 season, we were all devastated. It seemed as though you were going to be primed for another big year, and instead, you were forced to watch from the sidelines. However, you did not take this time for granted. You put maximum effort and time into training the young receivers on the team in order to help the squad succeed, and they did.

Following that season, you were your old self, and it was so awesome to have you back. I remember countless "Jordy!" celebrations in my basement on your way to becoming the NFL's comeback player of the year.

Despite a low year this past season, you were still one of the unquestioned leaders on the team, and a teacher to many. Even though you ended up being released, you will forever be remembered in Green Bay.

You define what a true Packer is. You are hard working, humble, and willing to sacrifice for the team. You are unquestionably one of the greatest Packers to ever do it, and even though there was no storybook ending to your time in Green Bay, no one will ever have the same impact that you did.

Thank you for everything, White Lightning, for inspiring kids all over Packer nation, and being a true role model in everything you do. We wish you nothing but the best in your next ventures, and can't wait to see you continue to tear up the NFL.


Packer fans everywhere

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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