Found out today, sciatica can stem from other things too. Like a sports injury. Mine is a result of running when I shouldn't be, lifting weights on knees that really shouldn't be bearing weight.
A result of long jumping in high school. Running hard and jumping off of my right foot and landing hard on my left foot. And for being OLD. 34 is old. Seriously. It is.
Sitting at the doctor's office today got me thinking how I ended up in track & field.
How I happened to fall into the field event: long jump.
I've shared before here how in my junior year of high school I took up basketball at my small school. After one of my games, a older gentleman with white hair-- physically fit, kind, with an understanding voice walked up to me. He was at the game to see his granddaughter play (she was a teammate of mine).
He asked me,
"Have you ever considered trying out for our track team? I coach the team with my daughter (the wife of my basketball coach) and we could really use your speed in the 4x100 meter & 4x200 meter relays."
I told him I had never really thought of it. I shared with him that my younger brother was on the track team the year before and how I thought it would be fun.
He told me he would be expecting me the first day of practice.
I showed up with all the sprinters (turns out there are some benefits of being short and having strong legs) and started running 100 meters that were timed by the coach. We were asked to run the 100 meters a couple more times to try to beat out our previous time.
I've never been one who likes competing with others.
I have this philosophy that is simply put:
"can't we all just get along and be FRIENDS?!"
As it turns out, in the real world-- not everybody gets along with everyone. And not everyone wants to be my friend. That's cool and all, but in my mind I think--
"WHY the HECK NOT?!"
** future writing piece in the making**
I loved the fact that track pushed me to beat my best. Individually. To strive to be faster, stronger & better than what I was before. Track and field taught me how to work at striving & training harder to beat my own personal best.
This was when I fell in love with track & field and running.
My track coach walked up to me during one practice soon after and said,
"I want you to test for the long jump."
I kind of stared at him for a while, thinking he was joking. I mentioned that I thought long jump was for people with long legs (get it, LONG JUMP?) who could actually jump. Both of which I received the low end of the gene pool on.
He went on to correct my way of thinking.
"Long jump is based on how far you can jump with two feet placed together on the line before the sand pit. Not jumping up or with one foot. With both feet together at once. Another factor is being able to sprint. Hard."
So with his confidence I tried out for long jump. I ended up out jumping every girl on my team. Even the girls with the long legs. Even the girls who had been on the team since they were in the 8th grade. I ended up going not only to State competition for the long jump, but going to Tri-State the first and only year I was in track & field.
I'm thankful for my coach to this day. He saw potential in me that I never could see. Just from simply watching me run. Just from observing. He had confidence in me and what I could accomplish, even when I had accomplished nothing. That influence has stuck with me throughout all these years.
This memory of influence--of confidence in my potential; helps me remember:
When I don't feel like I have what it takes with writing, when I think of the education I don't have, when I think of my lack of experience--
What I accomplished back then.
When I had zero experience. When I had zero confidence in myself.
The faith someone had in me,
that someone believed---
I could accomplish it.