I was a junior on the Indoor Track team at the University of Massachusetts. I was having a really good season as the team’s top miler. I won most of the meets and ran some great times. Training was great and I was excited for the championship races.
Round one was the Eastern Conference meet. This was a race that I should have one. I did everything right leading up to the race. It was my race to lose. I was confident and ready.
The gun went off for the eight laps of the one mile race and I settled into the position that I should have been. I did everything right and I ran my race. As the laps went on everything was going to plan. I was going to be the champion. I was excited and ready to do what I needed to do.
With two laps to go I made my move. I moved from third to second to…wait, the leader held me off.
With a lap and half to go I had plenty of time. I was still confident and OK with the way things were going. I wasn’t going to be denied my spot as champion of the race. It was meant to me. I knew I was going to be the champion.
With three turns to go I again made my move for the front. Again the leader held me off. This wasn’t supposed to happen; he was doing the wrong thing. This was my race. This was my race to be crowned champion.
Plenty of time. Plenty of time. Plenty of time.
There was just one lap, just 200 meters and just 2 turns left. I made a stronger move this time. I still didn’t get by. Before the last turn I gave everything that I had to get by.
Still nothing. Second place still. I had one more shot. One more shot to win the race. For the first time doubt crept in.
Was it possible to lose this race?
Had I not prepared?
I didn’t know who this person was. I should have found out who this person was. With 30 meters left I realized that my plan had been wrong. My race was the wrong race. I was going to lose the race that I should have won. I was going to lose this important race because I messed up.
I can’t give up. I can never give up. I needed a miracle. There was still the sprint for the line. 30 meters…
20 meters. 15 meters. 10 meters….there is the line….
With one last despite attempt I dove head first for the finish line…….