I joined the track team as a freshman because my brother and all of his friends were seniors on the team. I thought it would be fun.
Honestly, I regret not taking those first weeks seriously. I was just a freshman going to championship meets to watch my brother and his friends compete. I had no idea that this team would become everything to me. It was not long before I realized that there was something special about this team.
The truth is that CBA Track was never and will never be about the running. It will never be about the championships or the records. It is so much more than that to every athlete on the team.
I had a very successful indoor season, breaking two individual records and winning two awards: Shore Coaches Indoor Track Athlete of the Year and First Team All-State for the 400 meters. I would trade all of that to get back the time that I have lost this spring with my team.
Many people do not understand the bond that is created through the hard work and suffering of practices. They do not understand why my teammates are not my best friends, but my brothers. That the job of our coaches is not to make us faster or stronger, but to mature us into men. They cannot understand the work and care that Coach Torchia puts into every single student-athlete on the team. He will not admit it, but he is the greatest coach I know and, more importantly, a better person.
I owe so much to my coaches and my teammates. It is a debt that I can never repay, yet I try anyway by working as hard as I can at practice and at meets for every single one of my coaches and teammates.
To think that I have had my last chance on the track to show them my gratitude - to give them everything that I have - is unthinkable.