Alex on his training, trials, and being positive


     I am glad to see results over the month participating in Marathon High.  Even through all the bad experiences I had at the beginning, everything else has been good.  Nothing bad has occurred during the practices.  I’m able to run longer than before.  I’m glad that I didn’t quit.  Time in the program is really paying off; I’m seeing results, the rewarding effects of being in this program.  The only thing I have yet to try are the Saturday practices.
     I been busy over the past Saturdays and couldn’t participate in the program during the weekends.  I have been volunteering, and also went to an interview for Urban Roots internship; so I have missed three Saturday practices.  “It’s good to be busy” Chris told me, but I couldn’t help but wonder what they were like.  I thought to myself when time was available, I will go to a practice.  Just to get a feel, a taste, a look.  Therefore the fourth Saturday was the first time that I went to a practice.  Didn’t know what to expect, however I was excited for going for the first time.
     That Saturday morning, its atmosphere was surrounded by the stinging chill of December.  Even walking from the short distance of my parents’ car at the front of the school to the doors, the icy sting still manage to make contact to my face.  I wished that the weather wouldn’t be as cold as it was, but I wouldn’t let the cold be the defining reason why I quit.  So I continued.  I quickly headed inside to avoid the biting air.  Two other students and me waited in the library, our heads staring a computer screen.  It was little past eight fifty when Lesley arrived in the library.  She told us how she was concerned that the cold driven us away, but it didn’t.  We got inside her small and pleasantly warmed car and headed off to Rogue.
     I never heard of Rogue.  I have no idea what it is.  At first, honestly, I thought it was some track in some distant field.  When we arrived to Rogue, there was a pure white tent with the words, I can’t recall what those words were, but they’re were related to Marathon High.  Lesley dropped us off and went to park her car.  Me and the other two went inside after we signed with the people under the tent.  A guy asked if I had on any gloves, but I didn’t, therefore he gave a pair of wore out ones of the color cream.  Although they were not new, I still appreciated the gift, but I wished that I didn’t lose them on that very day.  We headed down these concrete steps and found ourselves inside of a somewhat gym setting — minus the machines and equipment.  There were so many experienced runners.  A man came up to me and my group, and he said he’s raising funds for our program and asked if he could take a picture of us.  We kindly obliged and allowed him to take a picture.  Inside this makeshift gym was a good-sized store with the words “Rogue.”  The inside had sports clothing, gear for exercising, and a large collection of amazingly bright and colorful shoes.  The inside was modern and stylish.  It was a store I imagine would be found in a much more urban setting.  Nevertheless, it was pretty impressive.
     It was a while until our coaches got to us.  Ms. Turner, Lesley, and Chris arrived to speak with us.  Chris asked if I needed shoes and I said yes (really I said yea, but details aren’t really that important as of now.)  We headed inside and Chris asked for my shoe size and later went into the back of the store to find me a pair.  I sat on a wooden log bench inside the store and waited for Chris.  I looked around and witness more of the store’s hidden goods.  Chris arrived back quickly with a neon orange and yellow shoes.  He asked me to try them on and I did, but they were tight around the sides of my feet.  Chris told me it’s normal for a feeling to occur, and once I break them in, they shouldn’t feel as tight as they were.  Without any more concern, I took him up on his word.  We spent a few minutes inside Rogue.  To pass the time, I looked around, observing more details of Rogue.  I even noticed an unusual advertisement.  From what I can remember, it was saying 20% off something (Don’t remember what that something is) for now until forever. I found it funny.
     Then all of us headed outside and crowded along the outer wall of the building.  There were printed papers taped to the wall, they each mentioned something about speed and skill for people.  I didn’t fully understood what they meant until Lesley explained it to me.  Then Lenora  stood on something, I couldn’t see what it was because of the people blocking my view of it, and shouted “Marathon High” and we shouted back “Marathon High” with so much enthusiasm.  She gave a quick little speech and told all the Marathon High students to begin jogging.
     As I was jogging, I felt out of the bounds.  I was the only one wearing blue jeans, a jacket, and a plain t-shirt.  Everyone else had on appropriate jogging wear:  Sweat pants and tights, appropriate running jackets, and a few other things.  I felt really out of place.
     I was getting tired along the way, and I still wasn’t comfortable with these shoes that I have.  They tighten around my feet as I jogged.  Plus I wasn’t use to shoes so light.  I wasn’t sure if the lightness was much more of a hindrance rather than a benefit to me since I wasn’t used to such a feeling.  It was until I reached to the first water stop that my foot felt uncomfortable after drinking a few cups of water.  I brushed it off as nothing.
     I continued to jog, ignoring the pain.  As I jogged, I grew tired.  As I grew tired, I started to acknowledge the presence of the pain.  But I stubbornly chose to ignore it, even though it still made its presence more than know


to me.  The only problem I have was that I continued to ignore the pain and made attempts to continue jogging.  Many and many people passed me by the dozens and eventually, I was left by myself.  I continued walking, and occasionally jogged, when able.  It wasn’t until I passed a mark stone with the number six, two people, a man on a bike with


neon tires and a woman standing there, asked me if I was okay.  I answered no, however I didn’t really have much concern for it than I should have.  They then asked if I had a sprained ankle, I answered that I might after thinking and linking previous moments that might have been caused by a sprained ankle.  After a brief discussion on what has to be done, they told me to follow them on the trail.  I obediently followed, however it grew increasingly difficult to follow them as they continued ahead as I failed to catch up.  I was receiving a lot of mixed signals during the walk.  They seemed to speed up then slow down moment from moment.  I tried to catch up, but it seemed pointless at times.  Along the trial, they have gotten so ahead that I assumed that they left me for something else; what that something is, don’t know or even guess what it could be.  Later on I caught up to them and they explained to me that a ride is going to pick me up and take me back to Rogue.  It was a few minutes when Lenora, director of “Marathon High,” arrived with another person who I don’t know.  I got in her car and she drove back to Rogue.

     On the way there, Lenora asked me what happened and other questions — some mainly just about plans for the Thanksgiving break — and I told her that I think that I sprained my ankle.  She then told on how to treat it when I got hom
e.  When we got back to Rogue, they told me to sit down, elevate my ankle and they then put ice on it.  She told me to keep it for thrity minutes.  Over time, people arrived back, some were Marathon High kids.  Some people spoke to me, but I wanted to be alone; mainly because I let myself down and I felt that I let my coaches down.  I looked at the shoes given to me and decided not to keep them.  I viewed them as a gift, a gift that I didn’t deserve.  When Lesley came back, she asked me if I wanted to keep them, I said no because I felt that I don’t deserve them.  Later on, after the practice ended, Lesley dropped me at my home.  At the end of that day, I felt defeated.  Sure it was an accident, but I couldn’t help feeling what I was feeling.  The second time, however, went better.

     The other practice was different.  I had a much better experience than the first time.  Apparently we were doing a five mile jog and I finished it.  Not how I would like to have accomplished it, but I managed to accomplish it.  This practice was holiday themed, so when I was the third to last person to arrive back to Rogue, I was surprise to see breakfast tacos, cups of orange juice and a cake.  Then they started giving away bags full of goodies.  Lenora called high school after high school and when I received my bag, I was amazed and surprised by what they have.  The bag contained a watch, an atlethic shirt, a coupon for a free pair of shoes from Rogue, and a few other things.  I’m thankful that I didn’t stop Marathon High just because of a bad experience, but I do wish that the experience was better.  The only thing that I’m hoping for is that I don’t experience anymore negativity in Marathon High because I want all the good experiences I have to outweigh the negatives that are bound to happen.  Hopefully things don’t go sour and that I am able to enjoy Marathon High as I continue to participate in the program. 

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