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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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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Serena Williams Fights Sexism at US Open

The way we treat male and female professional tennis players has to be the same.


For 14 years I lived in Southern California, a hub for sports like tennis and water polo; many players that eventually sign to play division 1 sports or eventually enter the professional tennis world get their start in the sunny climate of California. Growing up near the greater Los Angeles area meant that I lived near where the greatest female tennis player of all time got her start. It's common knowledge that both Serena Williams and her sister Venus Williams have roots in Compton, a blue-collar city in Los Angeles known for its high crime rates.

I had the amazing opportunity of seeing Serena play in 2016 at the BNP Paribas played in Indian Wells, CA. Watching her sure power and her commandment of the court left me in awe. Growing up as a young girl playing tennis practically ensures having Serena as an idol, and I was no different. Naturally, seeing her slammed by critics for her outburst during the US Open earlier this September left me appalled. Set to win her 24th Grand Slam title, Williams lost to Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese man or woman to win a Grand Slam.

The problem that many see as controversial is the treatment of Williams by umpire Carlos Ramos, citing Williams's "verbal abuse" that cost her a game penalty and the point penalty because of a smashed racquet. This especially infuriated me because the male tennis players are frequently celebrated for their emotional outbursts; they are praised for their passion. This incident goes back to the traditional gender roles that we as a society celebrate. When a woman asserts, her dominance, she's bossy. When a man does, he's the man. We as a society accept anger more when it comes from a man than from a woman, and it needs to stop. The first step is recognizing sexism where it happens, which is what Serena did. I am now even more proud to call her my idol.

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