Recreating the high

“One more lap, Em!”

“Gotta speed up on this one if you want that time!”

“100 meters left!”

“Kick it in!”

…I can still hear them in my head. Yelling at me. Screaming. Coaches losing their voices and freaking me out in the process.

Faster, faster. 

Legs and arms numb. Clock ticking. Each second costing me a new record, title, or trip to states.

The only person who ever put pressure on me was Trevor (“You can go faster than that, Emmie,” he’d say). But I put pressure on myself. I wanted to make Dad proud. I wanted him to say “You go, girl!” I wanted more records to post on the non-existent record board. I craved the endorphins, the runner’s high. I wanted that oh-so-hyper-and-excited feeling I experienced after every race when I could breathe again.

I associated running with the painful knots in my back and the ever-present butterflies in my stomach. I popped pain reliever before each race and numbed my back with Icy Hot. I snapped at loud, immature teammates and tried to think about anything but the girls whom I knew were my competition. I dreaded every single meet on the schedule, some more than others.

But I did well. And I made Dad proud. And I set several records and went to states several times.

But I regret not having a better attitude toward running.

I am so jealous of the team my high school coach has now. I had to run with the boys; it looks like all of these high school girls run together. And they do races together in the summer. And they’re always smiling.

…I wish I could have had the opportunity for their enthusiasm to rub off on me.

Maybe I could have developed a better relationship with running. Maybe I could have had fun. Maybe I would have – gasp! – loved it. Instead of sitting here, missing that high but not wanting to go through the pain of recreating it.

They always told me to go faster. I wanted to slow my life down.

Now I want to go fast again. I just lack the wherewithal.

Brown, white, red, black and blue

We all wore different uniforms.

Brown and white covered my body, red and black for Kevin and deep blue and white for Christian (with much shorter shorts than ever before).

We’re the same people; the same friends. We’re just not on a team together anymore. We will never wear blue and white together again.

Kevin, me and Christian

Kevin and Christian are two of my very best friends. I can be myself around them and not worry about the consequences. I was back to my regular, snarky self. We met each other’s teammates, but we mostly hung around each other, cheering on kids from our respective teams.

Last Saturday, we traveled to the University of Rochester for a track meet. We’ve been training here and there, but nothing hardcore. The best part of the meet was being reunited with my former teammates. It wasn’t until our reunion that I realized how much I miss having them around at meets. When I grumble about running, they know how to deal with me. They grumble right along with me and then we laugh about our complaints.

That’s what is different about college. You’re thrown in with a group of kids that are your age, but you did not grow up with them. You don’t know anything about anyone; you have to trust what they say about themselves is the truth. I had missed the comfort of friends who have known me since I was four and seven (I think Christian’s known me that long…ish). At school, it’s all about where you are now, not where you were.

Being with my friends reminds me of where I was. Where I used to be. Who I used to be.

They bring it all right back.

Weekdays: a whiny rant

I just feel worn down and beaten up.

There’s always something to do and I feel guilty if I’m not doing anything. When I take naps, my heart beats rapidly because I know I could be doing something. I’m not even going to try napping today; I know the guilt will consume me. Guess I’m still recovering from yet another crazy Monday.

I barely have time to breathe on Mondays. I have class from 9:30–11:20, a small break for lunch, then class from 1:30–2:20. I go right from there to work in the dean’s office from 2:30–5:00. Yesterday, my work time ran into about quarter after five, lessening my time considerably. I have a meeting each Monday from 6:00–approximately 8:00. Top that with the cherry of discovering I register for classes TODAY (a very unexpected event) and some statistics homework I will never understand and you get the idea of how yesterday was for me. I’m exhausted. And Tuesdays aren’t a breath of fresh air, either.

I wake up on Tuesdays and have to be with a team that clearly does not get along. Nobody on my team says “Hi, how are you?” or “Good morning!” to anyone. I’m lucky if I even make eye contact with some people. It makes me miserable to think about those Tuesday/Thursday mornings with those people. I wish so badly that things could be different. In high school, the girl’s cross-country team had differences with the guy’s team, but at least we were all friends.

It’ll be exciting to welcome the recruits in this August. Maybe they can turn things around for the better.

For now, I’ll endure those early morning weight room sessions and try hard to keep my snide comments to myself.

A DJ, a gym and some glow sticks

At 7:o0 yesterday morning, “Into The Ocean” by Blue October started bursting out of the speakers on my triangular iHome. I continually hit the “snooze” button until I could do so no longer. I gave up at 7:30 and dragged my sorry butt out of bed to face what would turn into an extremely long day.

This weekend was Homecoming weekend. The problem was, I hadn’t given Homecoming a single thought because I had a huge obstacle to get through first. Conveniently, we had a cross-country meet in the freezing cold wind and mud. And, my race was to be the last race of the day. We left at 8:30 in order to get there by 10:00, and I didn’t run until 2:30. All of this equals one long and cold day.

I ran well, and yes, hanging out with the team is always fun. I finally met the guy that has been taking pictures at meets (in which I sometimes appeared) for years, and coincidentally he is also one of my employers. I got to snuggle with five of my teammates to build up the warmth we so desperately sought and got to experience one crazy bus ride.

After my race, we [my family] left immediately. After a few stops along the way, we finally got home at 5:00, and my boyfriend was to be at the house at 6:30 to get some pictures taken beforehand.

The dance was fun. My only complaint was the complete lack of slow songs. He (one of my brother’s friends who played the DJ) must have wanted to keep up with the “rave” theme Student Council had whipped up, but he only played three slow songs and I, along with many others, was disappointed. The entire gym smelled like bare feet and glow stick fluid because people kept breaking open the complimentary glow sticks everyone wore around their necks. A friend of mine actually got squirted in the eye with one at the very beginning of the dance, and she commented that it was very painful.

Afterward, we headed up to a friend’s house to attempt an all-nighter. Everyone but my boyfriend, my friend and me fell asleep. At five o’clock, we decided to get back in the hot tub and didn’t end up surfacing from it until seven. And yes, we got very prune-y.

It was a fun night. I was happy that my boyfriend and I matched perfectly and it’s always a treat to see classmates all dolled up instead of just sauntering around in their pajamas or jeans during the average school day.