WOW! It feels amazing to finally get the change to write a blog post. I haven’t been here in ages and I’ve really missed interacting with everyone. Life has been hectic, but if I wait for things to calm down I’ll never do anything …
I was so petrified that in my first year of high school I signed up for the 800m race. I had done two years of athletics in my primary school but sports has never been my thing. The fear coupled with the pressure from teachers ensured that I never missed a single training session.
Race Day had finally arrived. I was nervous but my coach’s pep talk really helped me calm my nerves. Unfortunately, I came second last … So much for the extra training sessions hey coach. From that day onward, I vowed to never participate in athletics again. The mere thought of that disastrous day makes my want to die of embarrassment.
Fast forward to my last year of high school … I had a friend who was thinner than me and she always reminded me of her good genes by eating whatever she wanted and “complaining” about how she never got fat.
One day she made a comment about fat people trying to run in a bid to get thin, and it made me boil with anger and irritation. I bet her that I could beat her in any race of her choosing.
She laughed it off, making me more determined to beat her and get her to finally shut up. I added that I would give her R50, if she won. After some persuasion, she eventually said yes.
My friend had decided on the 1500m race. There was about 40 days before the inter-house athletics rolled around. I went to every training session at school and I even managed to squeeze in a few extra sessions on the weekend. I was putting my body under so much strain- I was exhausted! Mentally, I was as fine as I senior completing their final year of high school could be.
I was doing the thing I had vowed never to do. Only this time, I was more motivated than ever. On the day of the race, she decided that we would both do the 800m again. My heart sank because this race was my demise four years ago. Reluctantly, I ran the race and I did poorly. No surprises there .. With my bruised ego, I anxiously waited for the 1500m race.
There was about six girls in the race line-up. She smiled smugly as we took our positions. I had never wanted anything this badly – besides trying to pass my final year in high school – I needed to beat her. For a second, everything went blank and I watched as the other girls started running. My brain and legs eventually caught up and I started running. One of the girls set an achievable pace as we trailed behind her. After she broke away, I tried to catch up with her. That girl was still leading the pack and I was in fourth position while my friend tauntingly ran beside me. There was about 400m left and I was still fourth. My friend ran past me. The adrenaline kicked in and I ran after her. A few seconds after that, I ran past her.
Things were a blur after that. Suddenly, I was in second position. And she was third … I had beaten her! I had actually done it! My heart was bursting with joy. She begrudgingly congratulated me and apologised for “Being so rude to me. After all, I got enough slack from other people about being fat. I didn’t need it coming from a friend”.
Rocky Balboa, I thank you …
“Face to face, out in the heat
Hanging tough, staying hungry
They stack the odds still we take to the street
For the kill with the skill to survive
It’s the eye of the tiger
It’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor
Stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye of the tiger”
Music: Eye of The Tiger by Survivor
This post would not have been complete without including this song.
In light of that throwback, I completed a 5k on National Women’s Day … I will be writing about that race some time during next week.
Let your minds wander at the endless possibilities of tomorrow!
– Christine Diampovisa