“I think I’ll go distance today,” I told the hurdles coach on Friday.
“No problem,” she said. Smiling. She doesn’t smile at me often, so this took me by surprise. “Go ahead, you had a good race yesterday. You got a varsity point.”
“Wow, thank you! Thank you!” I was containing my excitement horribly. My smile stretched wide and my voice embarrassingly rose 5 notches.
She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Don’t thank me. That’s how varsity points work. One for 3rd place, three for 2nd, and 5 for 1st. Get 15 and you’ve got a varsity letter.” She stated this with some exasperation, as if telling a young child to calm down. Frosh girl CM got varsity points all the time. And not just one at a time.
That didn’t stop me from being excited. I practically skipped off the field to join my distance friends.
See, she had finally let me run a varsity race. I had jumped at the opportunity, even if it meant giving up my distance race for that week (varsity can’t run jv). This was my chance to show her that I actually was better than that Frosh MW.
Actually, that had been my sole goal of the race. Beat Frosh MW. And I did. I didn’t PR – not by a long shot – but I had three-stepped for the first time, and I had beat her, and that was all that mattered.
The problem was, it didn’t guarantee me a permanent spot on varsity. That would take more work.
I went on a 6 mile long run, which took our little hodgepodge group an hour and 20 minutes to complete. We talked colleges and classes and other topics common for this time of year.
That night, I looked up my times and compared them to the other girls. And so my hopes were sparked.