As athletes we try to put our feelings into words: together, passion, GRIT, Tartans. But there really aren’t any words that perfectly capture the heart throbbing feelings you get on the line before a race. So I won’t try to put them into words. But as an athlete, I’m sure you know the feeling. It’s a crazy, special feeling, and it’s hard to get anywhere else. Because, you probably already know this, but sports are so much more than just a physical competition. The emotional and communal aspect are equally as powerful, if not more powerful, than the physical aspect. And while eventually our bodies will grow old, the lessons we learned will contribute to everything else we do in life.
Track is Family
After running four years of track and field at Carnegie Mellon University, I’ve grown a lot from the experience. This year I am 22 years old. I have just finished running my 11 year track career. So with some tough math, it ends up that track has been part of half of my life. Back in high school, I remember my track coach telling stories of how her college track team did everything together and became her family. Sure enough, the team really does become your family. As a family we have practiced together, competed together, won together, lost together, laughed together, and cried together. It’s the family aspect that makes stepping on the track everyday so incredibly worthwhile. I will really miss everyone.
Track and field at Carnegie Mellon is something special. Despite the physical pain and mental stress of a varsity sport, there is nothing else I would have rather spent my time doing. Track has been essential to my life and my growth. There is so much that track has taught me; too much to even list. There is no doubt that I would not be where I am today without the influences and experiences on the track.
Alright last thing. If you forget everything I wrote before this, here is the most important thing I learned from track: do whatever you are passionate about, and do it with people you are passionate about. Even if you aren’t good at it, even if it’s hard, and even if there is a huge opportunity cost. You won’t regret it.