Running track in high school taught me how to always work hard and to be determined to do whatever it takes to achieve goals I want to accomplish. It showed me to never give up but to push myself when I am being challenged. This was a life lesson it taught me before leaving high school.
I attended Rancho Cucamonga High School my freshman and sophomore year. Before starting the school year, I thought about how competitive the sports programs would be. It was nerve-racking just thinking about it but I was confident in my abilities to do well on the track team.
After winter break, it was track season which was the last sport of the year. I did not know track try outs were going until I heard one of the coachs talking about it. The tryouts started during 7th period but the problem was I had a math that period. In my mind I started to question myself on whether I should tryout or not because I did not want to come to the tryouts late and be singled out by one of the coaches.
The bell rang. I jogged over to the locker room to change into my workout clothes. When I left the locker room, I ran to the football thinking about what the coaches were going to say to me. I entered the stadium and explained to Coach Holloway about my current situation. He understood it and asked what events I am running. I told him I was a sprinter. He told me to put on my spikes and go see Coach Moore so he could time me. My heart was really pounding now. I introduced myself to him and told him I want to do the 100 and 200 meter dash. He sent me to be with the rest of the sprinters to do a workout. We started off running four 400 meters lap. Then we did six 200 meters and six 100 meters.
I was so exhausted and my body was aching. Coach Moore saw my hands on my knees and said, “Get up. We are not done yet.” He is a coach who does not like to see anyone bend over and slack off while a workout is going on. When it would be my turn to run, he would examine the way I run and correct me so I run faster and smoother. He said, “Stop running with your arms crossing your chest. You are using up all your energy that way. Run with correct form and relax. If you do this, you will run faster and smoother.”
I did not like being corrected but I knew he was only helping me to be the best sprinter I can be. I learned that sometimes receiving correction from other people can be tough to accept, especially when you know they are right. I realized that I was just a freshman who did not understand the proper techniques of running. From that moment on, I let go of my arrogant thinking and soaked in all the teachings my coach explained to me.
Before my junior year, I decided to leave Rancho Cucamonga High School and transferred to Alta Loma High School due to the coaches having favorite individuals on the team. I felt like I was no important in them. I trained hard to be the best and actually improved a great deal. Coach Moore was the only one who seemed to care about me getting better. I said to myself, “Since no one seems to care if I’m on the team or not, I’ll go somewhere else that will.”
The sprinter coach was Coach Wong. He was a very small and elderly man but he was fit and surprisingly strong for his age. He played many sports in high school like football, basketball and obviously ran track.
Coach Wong would always assign the sprinters to do some challenging workouts, especially when he wanted us to run steep hills. When we ran the hills, we also had to run backwards while in a bent stance position. Coach said, “You have to work hard all the time at whatever you do because when you reach adult hood, you’ll have to go through hardships and whatever life throws your way. So work hard now and not later.” It did not always feel good to work hard every day but I knew if I practiced hard before the season officially starts, I would be prepared for the upcoming track meets.
The Ontario Relays was here. Schools from different divisions were here. My old school, Rancho Cucamonga was also here. I said to myself, “I got to give it all I got and beat my old school.” I had two objectives: beat Rancho and win a 1st place medal. Thinking about the high level completion made me nervous but I calmed myself by thinking about the hard work in put in before this meet. My relay team took 1st in the sprint medley relay and received the gold medals after the race. It felt so good to not only win but to also beat my old school in my last year of high school.
Later on in the season, I was invited along with teammates, to compete in the Arcadia Invitational. Runners from all over the country come and compete in this track meet. It was like the Olympics to me. My team took 3rd in the relay. We even got interviewed after the event. I never thought I would have the chance to run and win in this invitational. It was truly an accomplishment I would never forget and I realized that the workouts coach had me to really paid off.
When Mt. Baldy League Finals came along, my mind was focused on winning the league and moving on to CIF. We won 1st in the relay and I claimed 3rd in the 200 meter. When I was running the 200 meter run, the track looked like a highway that had no end. It was a great feeling to know that I was one of the top runners in our league of that year. It would be something I would remember for the rest of my life.
I qualified for the CIF prelims but unfortunately I did not win. I knew I did what I could do and tried my best. I learned that things you want in life will not be given but earned through hard work. I wanted to be one of top runners in league and I did it from all the practice and training to reach that point. Be dedicated to what you want in life and in time you will reach your reward.