I’ve gone through quite a number of shifts in priority during my time at PLU. The spring of my freshman year, I was debating whether or not to finally to declare my major in music performance (I didn’t) and was overwhelmed with campus life, along with preparing for a summer of rafting and mountaineering, specifically an attempt on Denali in Alaska. The spring after that, I was out of school, traveling in Europe and Asia in various capacities. This spring, I’m on the track and field team.
I participated in track and field for 3 of 4 years in high school, running the 100m, 200m (and 4x400m relay about twice, it was really hard), and competing for one season in long jump. I fell in love with track and field when I began long jumping. But after I graduated and went through the summer and moved into the dorms at PLU, I felt extremely intimidated by college athletics and pretended that I didn’t want to do track because I was “too busy.” I ended up having some amazing experiences because of this lack of commitment to track and field, most of all my time out of the state and country.
One morning at practice
However, the time has come to give in again to the call, and I am overwhelmed with joy in learning to perform in the heptathlon. The heptathlon is a special component of track and field. Heptathletes compete in seven different events: 100 meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200 meter sprint, long jump, javelin, and 800 meter sprint. This is really hard. I’ve only ever competed in 2 of these 7 events, so this season is taking on an even more humbling form. We started team practice on the first day of school in January term and since then, every day has been hard, extremely educational, and has surrounded me with a supportive community that is my team and coaches.
Every morning, I wake up at 5am, go to practice from 6am to 8am, and work hard and thoughtfully among a bunch of people who are doing the same. The events that make up track and field are exceptionally complex and the art in this sport is filling your performance with grace. More than anything, I’m glad that we have practice in the morning. We practice largely outside, which means that we get to see the sunrise over Mt. Rainier every morning and hear the birds start to wake up. Again, I find this sport humbling, and feel that every day I’m driven to learn about my body, my soul, and my mind.Yay college sports!!
P.S. Since it's black history month and she was an amazing athlete, here's a picture of Florence Griffith Joyner, fastest woman in the world. She set the current world record for the women's 200m sprint in the 1988 Olympics.