Always Running

What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

Normally, on a weekend, I’d sleep in. School work, family life, and track practice have a way of wearing me out. On this Sunday, though, my old-fashioned wind-up alarm clock sounds at 5:30 a.m. When I absolutely must get up, I don’t trust anything involving electricity. Track meet mornings are one of those occasions.

I hop out bed, pull on my compression shorts and running shows, and zip to the kitchen. Years of practice have taught exactly what to eat to be at my best: a glass of apple juice, two poached eggs on three pieces of buttered toast, a banana, and half a cup of coffee with milk. It takes twelve minutes to prepare and eat, and then I’m walking – not running, I want to save my energy – to catch the bus the meet.

There are four schools competing; lots of athletes and not many spectators due to the early hour. The 100 meter dash is my main event. In my usual style, I find a quiet place to stretch and focus. Half of a race is against one’s opponents, and half of it is against oneself. I can’t control what the opponents do, but there is much I can do to manage my surging adrenaline and pounding heart. When my race is called, I move to Lane 3.The starter gets us set, and then – CRACK! The gun sounds, and I erupt from the...

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