Sunday, August 5, 2018

Scraped Knees and Gut Feelings...

I am not a track star by any means. Was I good at it? No. Did I do it? Yes. I love everything track and field has to offer; running as part of a team is spectacular. I was in track from 7th to 12th grade except, for my year off for golf. For those five years, I was always in one event -the 100 meter hurdles. This is everyone’s favorite event to watch because people usually fall.

 During my first outdoor track meet of my senior season, I was determined to run the fastest I had ever run. I spent my time warming up my legs with an endless amount of hurdle drills. As I checked in, a part of me was so scared I was not going to get the time I wanted. The other part of me worried  I was going to fall. This second part of me grew into the only thing I was thinking about!

It was my time to warm up on the blocks. I got down, counted in my head, and took off! One hurdle, two hurd-- Woah! My foot got snagged on the back of the hurdle and I scraped my knees on the track. Now embarrassed I quickly went back to the start hoping no one noticed me warming up. I would have been fine falling, but now I have to run them for real. By this time, all I could think about is falling again and not beating my person record.

I set myself up in my block and got ready for the real race. On your marks! Set! Bang! We were off, and it was painful to say the least, but I did not fall. When I got back to my bag and cleaned up my knees, I started thinking about what went wrong. Deep down I had this feeling - I did not trust my gut. I let the fear of falling cloud my judgments. I have run the race hundreds of times, but I did not trust myself to trust I could do it once more.

The next race was very important, but even with my knees still scraped ,I began to warm up. I knew I could run this race the way I wanted. I checked in and warmed up on the blocks without falling, so I was already going better than before. I focused on the my gut saying, “I have and I will” instead of the one saying I couldn’t. On your marks! Get Set! Bang! One hurdle, two hurdles, and so on I eventually finished. Upon checking my time, I was astonished I beat my personal record by a full second. Because I trusted my gut, I was able to accomplish my goal. This way of thinking transformed my way of running, so I started being confident in myself on tests and in my actions since it had worked with running.
My coach Mr. Hawkins and I

My poultry coach, Mr Hawkins, once said, “nine out of ten times your gut answer is the right answer.” He told us this three weeks before the regional poultry evaluation event. On the day of the event, I crammed through notes and tests as we drove to Austin to compete. I was reminded of the statement through each part of the event. My first section of the event was the exam that was worth a hundred points. My knees were shaking as I flipped through each question. I remembered to trust my gut response and not second guess myself as I selected each answer. I ended up with few errors on my test and scored highest individual that day. I trusted myself and had confidence in what I was doing.

What Mr. Hawkins said to me applies not only to test taking and running hurdles but to life. I follow my gut when hanging out with my friends and planning my schedule. I know it’s hard to hear it, but school is just around the corner and trusting our guts will come in handy. Whether it’s the choice to study for a test or take a nap, sitting at lunch with the “cool kids” or being there for someone who needs us, we can trust ourselves to make the right decision.  Deep down in our gut, we know what we should do. So many times I see people who are not confident in who they are, and then it gets in the way of what they can accomplish. Just like those poultry test questions, we can trust our gut one question at a time. My challenge to you is to trust your gut; we will never know where it will take us.

Stationed by the flag,
Lauralee Eaton

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