I have a confession to make.
Deep breath in.
Track meets make me cry.
This past Saturday I walked into the field house with my aunt to watch my two teenage cousins in their track meet. As we were walking, I warned my aunt that track meets always make me cry, so she should be prepared.
She chuckled. She asked why they made me cry.
After some thought, I think I’ve figured it out. Track meets, while they keep score for the team, are still very individual. You run your own race, and you jump your own jump. You practice for weeks and weeks, over and over again for a chance to shine during a 9 second race. You exhaust all your energy, risking the embarrassment of finishing the race in last place, miles behind the other runners.
I’ve noticed that I cry harder for the people who tend to be the underdogs. The runners who dash by you on the track with strain and tears and exhaustion haunting their faces. The pole vaulters who keep trying despite the fact they’ve never made it over this mark. These are the people I weep alongside.
I don’t know their stories. I don’t know how many practices they’ve made it to or through, and I have no idea how athletically inclined they are across the board. What I do know is that for that one moment, they’ve managed to put themselves out there, alongside their peers at tremendous risk. For the moments before the gun shoots, they have an equal chance of winning as every other person standing next to them. and at that BANG, they put everything they have on that track.
These are the people who make the world change and grow. Putting themselves at risk for the sake of betterment and equality. These are the people I wish whispers of hope and encouragement to, because these are the people who are doing the things that the rest of us need to be doing.
Maybe I should start running track. ooorrrr, perhaps these reasons explain why I was a softball player. 🙂