Time to start writing about more than just my latest health stuff and back to more fun and other topics. The end of last week I watched the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships and was reminded about all I loved about the sport.
Track and field is a very unique sport because there are so many different events. I always had a ton of respect for my teammates as I couldn’t imagine doing the event they did. How did high jumpers contort themselves over the bar? How did triple jumpers and long jumpers jump that far and stay fair? How did throwers throw the shot put, discus or javelin that far? How did hurdlers combine the speed and precision to run the hurdles? How did pole vaulters get over the bar? How did my distance teammates handle the water jump and steeple hurdles? How do sprinters run that fast?
I was a distance runner with little speed. I did the boring races on the track, the ones with a lot of laps. I loved the 5k, 12.5 laps around and that was the event I ran most outdoors. (That was also my best event). This was not nearly as bad as the 10k, which I only had to run at our conference championship, but that was 25 laps of agony, for both me and whoever was watching!
Something that always stood out to me about my team at TCNJ was how much we all supported each other both during meets and practices. We always cheered each other on as we passed on the track. With all the laps I did around the track the words of encouragement from my teammates helped more than they probably know.
I also love how despite the individual nature of track and its events, we really all worked together to do our best for our team. Our coaches did a great job fostering a team environment. We always knew how everyone did in their events after a meet and were all focused on doing our best to help our team get as many points as we could.
The different makeup of track athletes also makes it so unique. It’s like each event is different: throwers, jumpers, distance runners and sprinters. While we would train almost exclusively with our “group”, we all got along very well and supported each other. The different makeup based on the events we did is also what makes track so special. All these different body types and skills come together and put forth their best effort for their team.
With track, you also got to be a part of a huge team. Not only would men and women train and compete together, but because of all the events, track teams were large and much bigger than other sports like basketball, cross country or soccer. I am grateful for how many friends and teammates I got to know through my four years of track at TCNJ.
So there’s my ringing endorsement of all that is so great about the sport of track. The different events ongoing on the track make it so unique and so fun. I enjoyed recalling many great memories from my “glory days” on the track as I watched the NCAA Championship last week and hope I convinced you about what an amazing experience it is to be a part of track team.
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