First Love

14 Feb

ABOVE_FIRST_LOVE_California

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The first time I raced the 400 meters I had no idea what I was doing.

I was a sophomore in high school and had just switched to the 400 meters from distance running.  I was young, overconfident, and excited.  When they fired the gunshot I took off at 300%.  I sprinted my guts out.

As I rounded the last turn I was shocked to see I was neck and neck with the reigning state champion.  I had no idea I was so talented!  I was on fire!

And then at 350 meters it all fell apart.  My arms started to windmill, and before I knew it I collapsed right there on the track.

The rest is a bit of a daze.  I remember the crowd gasping.  I remember picking myself up and walking across the finish line.

I also remember that I never again ran a race like I ran that first 400 meters.

I spent two track seasons running that same distance, but from that moment on I didn’t give it my all.  Sure, I sprinted.  Sure, I even made it to the state finals that year.  But I never ran with the same reckless abandon.

I never passed out again.

When we’re young, overconfident and excited I think we often approach things like I approached my first 400 meters.  We don’t realize how hard we’re going . We don’t know to be cautious.  We just go all in because it doesn’t occur to us to do it any other way.

That was me and my first love.  I didn’t think.  I just sprinted my guts out at 300% until I collapsed.

I’ve never passed out again.

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