On the right track

By Julia Charron, Staff Writer

A month and a half ago, I decided to join the track team. Prior to then, I had not been on any kind of athletic team since high school (I’m a junior in college). I hadn’t worked out on a regular basis for almost three years, so I don’t know what made me join. Perhaps I was on the verge of a nervous break, or maybe I’m nearing my quarter-life crisis. Either way, my trash body is now on the track team, and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

As someone with extremely high levels of anxiety 102% of the time that I’m breathing, I’ve always had a hard time finding even one part of the day where I’m not worried or stressed. When I joined track, I thought I’d just added another heap of stress to the towering pile. However, I’ve found even in the four weeks I’ve been training that during practice is the only part of the day where I’m not worried about anything. Maybe it’s because I’m so out of shape that I can’t focus on anything else besides the overwhelming pain in my whole body, but I’m so grateful for those two hours of my racing thoughts being silent.

Not only has track begun to help me feel less anxious, but it’s helped me feel more confident. When I joined, I threw myself into a situation in which I’ve had to face my top two fears: exercising and meeting new people. However, I can already feel my body getting stronger. I am still a weak, little twig, but I’m progressing to a medium-sized twig. Despite it just being minimal amounts of progress, it’s still a great feeling to work hard and see results.

As for meeting new people, socializing will always be a struggle. I am beginning to feel more comfortable around my new teammates. I might even be making friends (a foreign concept). Although I’m not the best with new people, I feel proud of myself for getting out of my comfort zone and making an effort.

I’ve always thought athletes were douchebags and, yes, some of them are. However, I’ve never realized what being on a sports team could give me. I’m still hella anxious, physical activity is still a bitch and socializing will forever make me want to vomit, but I’m growing as a person. I know that sounds cliché, but it’s true. When I leave college, I want to graduate a more confident, well-rounded and hard-working woman. Track could be what helps push me there (and maybe I’ll even graduate with a hot bod, too).

This article first appeared in the Friday, December 8, 2017, Edition of The Echo.