Berit Ramstad Skoyles column: Practice may make perfect, but competition is nice to have, too
The wind blowing in my face, eyes watering, my legs numb from the pain, and people screaming their heads off at me. Sounds not so fun right? Wrong. I love it. Every day I get to endure this painful fun, something a lot of people call track.
In some ways, track is just like cross country, but it's a whole different sport, with different people and different courses. There's the distance team, the mid-distance team, the sprinting and hurdling team, and then the field events.
You don't need to love running to be a runner. Quite frankly, I absolutely hate running. It's not the sweat or the pain, it's the having to get up and doing something.
Of course it's spring so it rains all the time. This leaves the ground wet, squishy and full of puddles. Extra clothes are a necessity, unless you want to leave plastered in mud. (That's more of an issue for my brother than me.)
On all easy runs, we do something stupid. It's just what we do. Whether it's falling through the bridge down by the river, almost getting hit by a car while j-walking or playing tag in the grocery store or mall. (Which usually results in us getting kicked out.) We've had multiple complaints, but we really don't pay attention to them. We aren't exactly what you would call courteous all the time.
In track, we are all pretty much friends with everybody, although there is some joking among the different events. All the distance and mid-distance people call the sprinters whimps. The sprinters shoot back with some other insult. It's just something we do. We all know that we're not entirely serious when we say those things.
Ultimate Frisbee is a game we like to play. The girls don't usually play anymore since the guys hog the Frisbee. It's mostly a cross country game but it's thrown into track occasionally. "Ultimate," as we like to call it, is a game where to throw around a Frisbee to your teammate without dropping it.
There are end zones that you want to get the Frisbee in. It's basically football with a Frisbee, but so much more intense. No longer are you devising plays, but just going with it. Throwing all the way across the football field is a common play.
Track isn't always that fun though. Hard workouts take a lot of energy and determination. At one point in time all of us lack those things. We all pull each other through it and still make it semi-fun.
This year, all it seems we're doing is practicing. I think we've had a grand total of four meets. Two meets have been canceled. I guess as the saying goes, "Practice makes perfect." Practice after practice and still barely any meets. Come on rain, for once, stop pouring.
As I've expressed in an earlier article, I love rain, but there's a point where it needs to stop. Like this Tuesday. We are scheduled to have a meet in Brainerd, but if it rains it's most likely to be canceled.
We are all craving a meet. Having to do time trials again just to get the feel of a meet isn't something we all want to do. Real competition would be nice. To be able to go out and show off our outstanding talent is a great reward to all the hard work we've put into practices.
To me, I think we have some of the best coaches. Yeah, they aren't our favorite people in the world during the rough times, but they are always there for us. They encourage us like nobody else, and they are some of the most outgoing and goofy adults I've ever met. Most of the time they join in on our crazy things. They are definitely kids at heart.
We're all like one big happy family. We practice together, share clothes, hang out outside of track, and practically do everything together. Friends are what we are, and friends are what we always will be.
Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a freshman at Detroit Lakes High School.