Two days into the semester and I've already had a mental breakdown. Oh boy, I'm literally going to have no life this semester. Three of my professors said on the first day of class either, "this is the most difficult class you will ever take, students pass the lecture and fail this lab every semester," and "This is the hardest class I teach because of how complex the concepts are," and "You HAVE to put in 12 hours of studying a week specifically for this class if you want to pass, and just because you put in the hours doesn't mean you will." 3 different classes. I'm also taking a different class online that might be the death of me, so much memorization. Yeah, I might have to change my schedule and spread these out better, I don't think I can take them all in the same semester.
Anywho, with that on my mind, into the 6 minute test we go! I was definitely already stressed beforehand trying to figure out how I'm going to manage finances and school and track and work and my future and still stay afloat. Today was a real slap in the face with reality that's for sure. This adulting thing really sucks sometimes. But I tried to calm myself enough to focus on just running, and I think I managed alright. I'm going to be starting up medication for depression and anxiety next week hopefully, when I can get in to see Dr. Newman.
We warmed up 2 miles before doing warmups. Odd? I think because of something with the recruits.
I was really nervous before we started. I was so sore from weights yesterday and tried to tell myself it wouldn't affect me at all just so I could forget about it and run. I really wanted to break 5:30 and believed it was possible. But I started to doubt because I didn't have as smooth range of motion and it felt heavier and harder to move because of the soreness.
But alas! Shut that out of my mind and just went with the group. Started at the back of the group because I know my place. Unfortunately that means a second or two late start (we run into repeats). Ah well. First lap (according to coach's watch) 79, second 80 (2:39), started struggling- 86 (4:05), and then hit the wall- 94 (5:39). Yoli watched it and said she could tell exactly when I changed pace- my stride got so small and I tightened up etc. Yikes. I fought and fought to work through it, to just go faster, but my body was physically done. I don't know what happened. I thought for sure I'd break 5:30, sigh. Finished with 1688 meters.
Mostly I just feel sad and defeated. I think I've finally advanced to the acceptance stage of the grief process. I no longer feel stressed out about the potential loss of my scholarship, the potential of being the absolute slowest on the team, the potential of never being the athlete that coach gets really excited about and proud of (not like he is of Angie or Maddy or Sharlie), because well, it's upon me. I accept it. I'm not stressed anymore, I'm just sad.
Now that I've cried it out, I've realized that I've been fighting for all the wrong things- to move up in position on the team, to prove to coach that I can run fast, to secure my full scholarship for another year. But I know a lost cause when I see one. It's time to change my motives. It's time to let go of those dreams and settle with what I can do now. To find the simple joys and truly be happy for my teammates when they run fast times, not envious. Not bad about myself for being so slow. It's time to stop being critical of myself and feeling so inferior to my teammates. We're all working hard. We all just have different abilities, and that's okay.
The only reason I'm the slowest on the team now is because all the others that were slower than me quit. From my freshman year to now. And we keep signing faster and faster girls each year. And now, this is one of the best teams in the nation. So, if I must settle for improvement and chasing after my PR's, I will. As my coaches have told us over and over again, if we improve off of our best times that is as much cause for celebration as Angie winning conference is. Even though I'll never be the fastest, I am here because I want to be. Because I enjoy running and want to improve off of my high school times. Because I like challenging myself and pushing myself to do hard things. Because I like being an athlete and enjoy the journey towards improvement.
Coach asked for my best distance. I told him I haven't run it before. He said well this is your best distance then! Haha. Then I told him well, I opened the season last year with a 5:56. Because I did. And he asked for my mile split today. 5:39. He said, wow, that's major improvement! Later he brought it up again and said, the improvement you've made is crazy, and it was long past our conversation ended. I think he's also referring to this past semester/season. He seemed genuinely happy. That made me feel a little better.
Instead of feeling sad, I want to focus on what this is teaching me. Even if I never achieve the status that Angie, Sharlie, or Maddy have, I want to be able to look back on my experience as a collegiate athlete in a positive light. I don't want to just see stress and defeat. I'm done with that.
I'm learning to be more meek and humble. How to love and encourage others even in the midst of competition. How to let go of unrealistic dreams and tone them down to be more realistic. How to get back up after a fall, how to endure, how to find happiness wherever you're at. How to be confident in myself even if there are plenty of others faster than me. How to not care about what other people think. How to be more accepting of myself with all my flaws and weaknesses, how to love and encourage myself the way I would with anyone else. How to truly believe in myself and get excited about what I might be able to do if I work hard for it. How to not take things personally, how to let go of comparisons and just be my own person. How to maintain a positive attitude and keep moving forward even in the midst of difficulty, how to take advantage of every possibility and do things because I want to do them not because of what anyone else tells me I should or shouldn't do. How to be independent as well as how to soften up and allow others to help from time to time, how to loosen up and relax.
I'm grateful for a sport that can teach me so much.
We cooled down on 3 mile loop then Julieta and I were debating doing another mile or two, but we were both dying. We asked coach what we should do, he said no today was a hard day don't worry about covering distance. So we didn't. Yep, now my body's wrecked. Sooo sore