Passion… cont’d (day 3)

 

As the chilly early spring breeze

cut right through my thin long sleeve shirt,

I pondered turning around and walking back into the locker room.

The coach already hated me

I was a member of “that’ group of girls

(of which I was sure they didn’t want me to be a part)

and practice hadn’t yet officially begun.

 

Just as my mind was made up to cut my losses early on

roll call was over and our warmup assignment was given-

thereby squelching any opportunity for escape.

 

“1 mile loop and then back to the track for stretching” coach bellowed out.

As his word hit my ears, they were quickly drowned out

by the thudding of my heart and my own inner voice.

“1 mile? He seriously wanted us to run 1 mile just as a warmup?!?

I had never even run more than 1/4 of a mile…

There was NO way I could run a mile 

especially as just a warmup! I had signed up to run sprints…

and 1 mile was WAY past the distance of which I believed sprinters should ever have to run!

What was I doing out here anyways?”

 

Looking around, I realized that I was not the only person feeling aghast about the assignment.

Soon, the six of us stragglers, plus a few new additions teamed up and started off

on the ridiculous warmup mile

together.

 

As we ran, we began to talk

and I quickly realized that I was not the only person feeling out of place

but that in reality,

none of the 10 of us really knew or understood why we were there.

Most importantly,

we all equally hated the coach

at that very moment…

sort of a united front

which began the process

of us being tightly knit together.

 

We took our time on our run,

splashing through puddles and working to catch our breath

as we ran up the giant Riverside hill.

As we all ran, awkwardly Jr. High in stature

and completely out of shape,

we all believed that

at any moment, anyone in our group

could drop dead from lack of oxygen.

Even through the excruciating pain,

that 1 mile warm up run

was the first glimmer of hope

in what had been a terribly gloomy day.

 

 

Eventually, the ten of us made our way back to the school

and slipped into the warmup lines

as inconspicuously as possible.

As we began to stretch, the sun began to peek out from behind a cloud,

offering a rare bit of respite

from the brisk wind that was whisking away any sweat

that we had conjured up on our initial run.

I leaned back and allowed the warmth

to envelop my body and provide me a comfort

that I hadn’t felt in a long time.

 

“Katie, Sarah, Jenny, April, Rachel, Elizabeth”

The gruff voice calling out my name snapped me out of my momentary peace

as my reality at hand was once again made evident.

“Before you head off to your events, come see me in the stands”

The warmth I felt on my face  was no longer from the rays of the sun

but instead,

it grew from a place deep within

that was burning with hatred at the man I was to call ‘coach’.

 

*Cont’d tomorrow