Friday night found me tossing and turning, trapped in a cycle of dread and excitement over the next day, for Saturday marked my very first college track meet. Ever. I was recruited way back in April of last year, and since then have constantly been thinking about what it would be like to be a COLLEGE ATHLETE. I have never felt like the most athletic girl on the field, so the fact that I have reached college athlete-hood never fails to thrill and excite me. It’s just such a wonderful prospect for a girl who spent sixty percent of her time in the dark of the theatre and the remainder studying for tests.
I arrived back on campus an entire week and a half before school was scheduled to begin in order to compete in the meet on Saturday, our first home meet… my first college meet. I’m a Pole Vaulter, so my week consisted of pole runs, trying different bungees, and pushing the limits as to which pole I could get the best height on. At first, the week was going great, I was feeling pretty good with the vault, making really wonderful friends with all of the different girls on my team, and finally beginning to feel like a little bit of an athlete, when things suddenly went wrong. While doing the early morning running workout on Wednesday my leg decided to give out. I’ve had ankle issues for years, like serious, surgery-worthy ankle issues, but I thought they were beginning to fade into the past, as I hadn’t felt any pain in weeks. It appears that my calf was picking up the slack for my ankle and being overused till it decided to snap. So much pain. I was banned from running (which I was FINE with, as I really dislike running, weird, I know) and spent the rest of the week in the training room receiving therapy for my leg. Electric pulses were sent through my leg, I almost froze it off in the ice bath, I received the most painful massage I have EVER experienced, all in the hope that come Saturday I would be ready to vault.
I barely made it through warm-ups and ended up “no heighting” because I couldn’t gain enough speed on my hobbled leg to vault over my opening height of 8 ft. It was an awful beginning to my first college meet and I stumbled down to the training room, tears running down my cheeks. On my way there, however, an senior teammate of mine caught me going down the stairs, gave me a hug and told me to keep my head up, I had many more meets to go and wasn’t expected to prove myself to anyone. “Vault for the love of your sport and to represent your team, keep your head up when things don’t go so well” she told me, dashing off to her next race. I stayed for the rest of the meet cheering on my teammates and selling cookies at the bake sale. It was a disappointing beginning to my college vault career but, hey, it can only go up from here, literally (hehe pole vault heights, get it!).