I decided to try out for the track team because it seemed as if every black student at school was on the track team and for a brief moment I believed my completion was enough to make me a good runner.
The head coach of the varsity team gave me a pair of running shoes because I think he had some of the same thoughts I had.
I started by scoping out the different events.
At the beginning of every practice there was a 5-mile run through the woods. Normally I didn’t show up to practice until after the run because I was a club track member and not required to run it. But I wondered if I could do it.
It started out fine enough. The ground was not too hard or soft. The sun was not too bright and sky not too cloudy. There was a slight breeze but it was not cold. I began with everyone else and I kept up for as long as I could but soon the last person I could see was no longer within sight. I did not know the path back to campus and there was nothing marking the trail but I kept running/jogging and did not turn around.
“Tasha!” A friend of mine from the cross country team came looking for me. Everyone else was back on the track well into practice. We jogged the whole way back. What was a 10-15min run was more like an 60min jog. Cross country was out.
And as for speed – I never stood a chance. Regan was the fastest sprinter in our division. I ran the 100m in the same heat as her and she beat me by almost 3 seconds. I think I could have power walked faster.
And the season was just beginning. I had the whole spring ahead of me.