But I’m not faaast!

Since X-Country season was coming to a close and I wanted to continue running, I hesitantly joined Track & Field in high school. I say “hesitantly” because I’m not fast (if you couldn’t already tell from my previous post). X-Country and Track & Field were like a series though: if you do one, you gotta do the other!

Coach Pose was really excited to sign me up for the 800 and 1600 meter runs. Competing in those races were going to be a breeze because I ran that (if not more) every day. I didn’t think about how fast I had to run them though. Ack! On occasion, he’d surprise me by signing me up for the 200 and 400 meter relays. What the..?! I’m going to be that girl who makes the (whole) team lose! Through self doubt, I continued to run with all my heart because

1)I was running

2)everyone was supporting each other

3)Coach Pose challenged me (and I’m always up for a challenge!)

Somewhere along the way, I vaguely remember getting injured (shin splints? knee injury? I can’t remember.) but continued to run because I didn’t want to stop. I felt like, if I did, it would slow me down. After Coach Pose yelled at me for trying to disguise my injury, he understood where I was coming from and told me to take it easy. I took it easy..but I wasn’t going to let it stop me from competing. That’s how passionate I was with running. That’s also when I realized how stubborn I can be. Anyways, I survived the season so Hallellujah!

(I grew out of pigtails and colorful clips in the hair, pom pom socks, and spandex shorts. I grew up to hair ties and Saucony running shoes. Good job! That’s my bff, Sarah, by the way.)

I don’t remember what the girls team won but we won so we got to compete in a big end-of-the-season event, which is a huge deal in high school. Huge! It felt exceptionally great to be a girl at that moment, too. Too bad “..who run the world? GIRLS.” didn’t exist in that era. I would’ve been all up on karaoke-ing that song!

Fast forward to the banquet and I could not have been more excited to celebrate the season. Why? Because I truly felt the camaraderie: they were my family away from my family (if that makes any sense). As athletes were being recognized, names were being called, and awards were being given, my teammates and I were playing games and “autographing” each others programs at the table. Suddenly, my teammate sitting across from me said, “Karolynh, he’s talking about you.” I took that as “Coach Pose is making fun of me before he’s going to call my name to hand me my Certificate of Athletic Achievement – something every team member gets. Cool.” All I can remember from his speech was

“..she’s short..she eats PowerBars..I’m sorry they spelled your name wrong..and the award for Most Inspirational goes to Karolynh Tran.”

I thought he was joking..but he wasn’t. I became overjoyed with tears inside my running heart and couldn’t stop smiling. I felt like I had placed in the Olympics (wouldn’t that be great?!)! When my parents picked me up at the end of the night, they were even surprised. “Really? Are you sure? Wow! Good job!” said both of them. I was the happiest, shortest, PowerBar supporting runner in the whole wide world.

Until the next post..

keep on running!

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