Track and Field is the best sport
For the past 10 years I have been involved in the sport of track and field either as athlete or a coach, competing in both high school and at the Division 2 collegiate level.
Although I have been involved with the sport for so long, 10 years ago I couldn’t have imagined myself ever being apart of a track and field team.
My track career when I was a freshman in highschool and I needed to find a winter sport to do. I had just been cut from the freshman basketball team, and after being involved with three sports a year growing up I knew I needed to find something to occupy my time.
At the time our freshman football coach was also the varsity wrestling coach, and he really wanted me and my other teammates to go out for the wrestling team.
My intentions was to go to wrestling practice on a cold winter Rhode Island day, but when I got to the gym where practice was supposed to be, I found the indoor track and field team was actually occupying the space.
Because of the limited facilities at my high school, the throwers on the track team and the wrestling team split gym time, in the gym behind the main gym. But as fate would have it going to that gym that day may have been one of the best things that I have ever done.
The throwing coach, said to a timid freshman “hop in we’re doing core workouts and your going to be a thrower.”
I made a split second decision and decided to hop in with the drills, and was signed up for the track team that day.
Although I would go on to loving the sport, at first I didn’t think that I would stick with it. I was uncoordinated, didn’t really understand the sport, and quite frankly wasn’t very good.
Nonetheless, my coach believed in me unconditionally, saw potential in me when not many other people did, and I went on to letter that year, as a freshman after scoring multiple points in big meets.
Fast forward to the beginning of spring and it was time for baseball tryouts. Baseball had always been my sport, and I was confident that I could make the freshman baseball team.
After a couple of days of trying out, I was told by the coach that there wasn’t a spot for me on the team.
I was heartbroken, I didn’t think I was Ted Williams, but I thought I was good enough to make the team.
That Monday after a weekend of feeling sorry for myself I went to outdoor track practice, and I remember my track coach said in so many words, “it’s about time your here.”
That spring season, I went on to be one of the best freshman shot putters in Rhode Island, and knew that being cut from baseball and basketball was actually good things.
After throwing throughout high school I began getting recruited by different college teams across the region, including the college I graduated from Franklin Pierce University.
Throughout high school, I became a top shot putter in the state and was average in the other throwing events, but more importantly I meet some really important people in my life.
I reflect sometimes about decisions I made in my life, and without a doubt I don’t think I wouldn’t have known about or have gone to Franklin Pierce, if I wasn’t recruited. I also feel that if I hadn’t gone to Franklin Pierce, I wouldn’t have became a journalist, wouldn’t have meet my Minnesota born and raised girlfriend, wouldn’t have meet and adopted my dog, and wouldn’t be writing this column.
As I wrote in my headline, track and field is the best sport in my opinion.
On the bus ride to Lakeville South this past weekend for the section track meet, I began to think about how much diversity there is on our track team. That also got me to thinking about how diverse other teams I have been on and coached have been.
To me that’s what makes track and field so special. It’s a sport where it doesn’t matter what zip code your from, how much your family makes, the color of your skin, or quite frankly anything for that matter.
Track and field is a sport where anyone can be successful, despite their athletic ability, as long as they're willing to work hard.
Without any doubt in my mind, track and field is the most inclusive sport, a sport where there is room for anyone, and I am proud to have been apart of the sport for the last 10 years.