The Color Of Hunger

Archive for May 14th, 2009

Ever since I can remember, sports have been a huge part of my life. They’re something I’ve always loved and always will love no matter how old I am or how bad I get. George Orwell once said, “Sport is war minus the shooting.” I’ve been giving this a lot of thought lately, and yes, to me playing sports is in a way, a war. It’s a show, it’s inconsistency, it’s opinion backed with statistics, it’s opinion based on geography, it’s opinion based on the way a certain player wears a certain emblem or number, it’s learning from your mistakes, it’s paying attention to the way the wheels go ‘round, and it’s deciding that you’d better laugh because crying just makes your eyes look ugly. But most of all, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

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I’ve always been a softball girl myself. I think my dad’s love for the game of baseball might have had a little influence on this, but take it or leave it, you would never find me outside without that oversized Wilson mitt on my hand, a bright yellow softball wedged in its grasp. There was no convincing me that softball wasn’t the greatest sport ever created. Until one day, I met Mr. Tom Stralser.
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I was making my way down the main hall, destination Algebra, when out of nowhere, he grabs my arm and pulls me aside. I thought I was in trouble, I really did. Just his business way of approaching things threw me for a loop. “Hey kid, I was watchin’ yer basketball game the other day. You’ve got some springs in those legs. Why don’t you come join us this spring?” I was completely and utterly stumped. Join who? For all I knew, the soccer team had just sent an invitation my way.
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Later on that day, I asked around, put two and two together, and eventually found my answer. Stralser was the head track coach for the girls. Track!?! Hah! I was probably the farthest thing from a runner. Don’t get me wrong on this one, I love my sports. But running just isn’t my venue. Hell, if you get me to attempt a 3200 you’re doin’ pretty good, but if you expect me to complete it, you must be crazy. What I failed to realize at first is that track also has a field side. Hence, track and field.
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Throughout the rest of my sophomore year, I was slowly but surely being convinced (partly by myself, mostly by Stralser) that by taking part in a sport I had never even given thought to in the past, I had made one of the best decisions of my athletic career. I absolutely fell in love with track and field. The atmosphere was awesome, I was actually excelling at what I did (high jump and javelin at the time) and I had Stralser to keep me going and to help pick me up when I was down.
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My junior year, I decided to venture even more outside of the box, and tried my luck as a pole-vaulter. Turns out, bigger is better. My height masked my faulty drop step, and I ended up going to State on an 8’6’’. To make things even more perfect, I threw a 112’6’’ the next day (Districts) for javelin, placing third and beating out the two Pullman girls, thus sending me to State in my second event as well. I was ecstatic. Once again, I had struck gold by accepting to try ‘something new’ and in doing so, finding out that I wasn’t half as bad as I thought I would be.

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Looking back now at where I started and how far I’ve come is something I’ll always be proud of. Now, about 2 weeks away from throwing at Districts, I’m in a kind of nervous-mixed-with-excitement mood. Throwing the discus is yet another ‘something new’ I’ve decided to go with this year, and so far, it’s been pretty good to me. Javelin has been the best it’s ever been, putting me second in the league with a 121’1. I can honestly say that the coaching I have right now is the greatest coaching I’ve had my entire life. There’s one coach in particular that I will never forget; Mr. Tom Stralser.

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I can’t explain to you in words how much this man has helped me in the past few years. Actually, I take that back. I probably can. However, it would take a couple trees to do so, and I’m already past my bedtime working on this paper 8 hours before it’s due (it’s currently 12:28 pm), so I’ll keep it simple and to the point. Before Stralser, I had never really experienced the kind of coach who devoted way more time than they should in helping improve my skills, the kind of coach where you can make mistake after mistake and he’ll be right there by your side telling you it’s okay, and that you’ll make better ‘mistakes’ tomorrow.  Hell, if it weren’t for Stralser, I’d still be a softball player to this day. If it weren’t for Stralser, I’d be carrying a mitt and a bat, instead of a javelin and a disc. And if it weren’t for Stralser, I wouldn’t be what or who I am today.


iplaytrack1224@hotmail.com

I am a student of life. 23 years young. I observe. I experience. I learn. I am driven by creativity. And music. Good music. Indie and electronic. I love sensory details. Life is crazy. But meant for living. I have no regrets in mine. Only lessons. =]
May 2009
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