The End to my High School Track Career

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The End to my High School Track Career

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It was Valentines Day this year and I just got out of school and was prepped for my last race for my high school track season indoors. I was shocked that my coach gave my teammates and I the opportunity to run at Reggie one last time as we were barely qualified to run the 4x800. Distance running wasn’t something that I could describe as being experienced in however I was deeply invested in the sport as my diet, my routine and how I functioned daily was a mere resultant of it being in my life. At the time I knew a little about COVID seeing how it began to affect New York the most and how Massachusetts has seen a couple sightings of it as well starting to see some cases arise in the Boston area and throughout the state in general. Once my team got to Boston, the meet shortly started and I knew that I had a couple hours to chill around and get myself into the mindset of running well and quickly in my event. I finished my homework and I proceeded to look around the center with my friends just chatting and laughing like normal teenagers would do to pass the time. I got to see one of my best friends beat his personal best in the 1000 meter by large chunks of seconds and I knew that this would be the start of a positive day in the realm of Tewksbury running. My other best friend was able to run under 10 minutes in the 2 mile as he was qualified to get a medal for beating out the last Billerica kid that was in his way(in Track, there was some tension between my town and Billerica due to the proximity of the towns and the competition that they had). After bolstering enough energy to yell at them, I got my opportunity to run. Even though my race was short lived and I was put in a negative mindset for how poor I ran the race and wasn’t happy with my time, I was able to goof off and hype up my other teammates who absolutely killed it in their races. The sad part of it all was how I told myself that in spring I would be able to crush my current personal best in the 800 meter with ease by training. Too bad I wasn’t informed then that my highschool career for track ended there.
In April, I reached out to the coach of Suffolk University to talk about my passion for the sport and how I wanted to continue my journey in improving my ability to race hard. Once I heard back from him and got the “ok”, I was pumped and excited because now I know that I can train my heart out for a sport that I love and see myself grow slowly over time. Some of the positives though were short lived as it hit me like a truck when I found out that I had posterior tibial tendonitis in my left ankle. At first glance, an injury such as this seems measly small and could be healed with proper assistance due to icing and stretching but this is my second time getting this type of tendonitis in the same ankle and it took me a little over two months to heal before running again. An added wound to this scar was the fact that I couldn’t cross train in some sort of practice area where I normally can be injured with having the comfort of other individuals surrounding me to forget that I ever got injured in the first place. Running by yourself is a mental obstacle for runners during the pandemic as they need to adapt to now mainly listening to their own footsteps. Being injured at home left me with the image that my teammates are progressing through the summer making the best of this situation and improving as distance runners while I had to chill at home and maybe substitute my daily run for a little more strength. A constant seventy days of that took a toll out of me as that was really the one excuse I can tell my parents to let me get out of the house for a bit. During quarantine and my time off, all I wanted was to goof off again with my friends as we question certain people who may be looking at us funny when we run or decide to run in the trails with nearly getting ourselves hurt. The copious amount of games of spikeball after a practice and the dinners right after runs were drilling right through my mind as the months of May through early July hit. Running is a great stress reliever for me and with the addition of being around people who adore the sport as much as myself, it feels like a second home that I could be myself and be able to progress well in. It made me look back on this Valentines Day and repeat to myself that I took some things for granted which were my passion for the sport in the atmosphere of having other people who love it as much as me and the time spent in general.

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This picture symbolizes the last ever race I ever participated in for track as I was able to qualify with three of my other teammates in the 4x800 meter at the Reggie Lewis Center for States for indoor. I remember leaving that day being acknowledged that some student from Umass Boston got tested positive for the virus and at that time,this idea of having a pandemic was not circulating in my head. Although I didn't get a personal record and I ran the same time for that event three times in a row, I can now look back at the day yelling at my teammates while they hit huge personal bests with our coach filled with enthusiasm. I can recall one of my friends breaking 3 minutes in the 1000 meter that day as well as my other friend breaking 10 minutes in the two mile as they were ecstatic for completing those feats. I knew this would be my last highschool race at the Reggie Lewis Center but wasn’t expecting it to be my last race overall for my highschool career.

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This item was submitted on August 23, 2020 by Bricen Boudreault using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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