The Indoor 2010 3000m State Qualifier
Recollection of the things I do and do not remember from the pivotal race my senior year of high school in 2010. In the four 3000m races I ran prior to this one, I ran 10:35, making the same mistake every single time – going too early. In this race, the only one that season the truly mattered, I finally figured it out and qualified for track states for the first time.
It was before this race my coach Arnett introduced to me a simple combination of words that would one day come to define me not only as a runner, but as a person as well. “You need to have the patience to know when to go, and the strength to do it when it’s time”.
Patience and Strength.
I remember the line. I remember thinking the field was completely stacked against me. I remember looking to my left and right and up on the waterfall and seeing girls who had been destroying me all season. I remember hearing the gun go off. I don’t remember what happened next.
I remember being in 8th at one point, thinking there was no way I was getting myself out of this one. I remember about half way through hearing my coach shout to me that they were coming back and then looking ahead and realizing he was right. I don’t remember moving up. I remember taking the lead with 400 to go. I remember that with 150 to go my legs hurt the worst they ever have in my life. I remember hearing her come up on my shoulder. I don’t remember how I held her off.
I don’t remember getting from the track to the spot on the floor where I collapsed. I remember laying there for what seemed like hours, just breathing. I remember loving every breathe. I don’t remember how or when I finally got up. I remember hugging my coach. I remember calling home. I don’t remember the rest of the meet.
I remember it hitting me on the bus ride home. I remember smiling to myself saying a silent yes.