The #FruitsOfLabor Story Pt10 – The Fastest Man in the MEAC
Somewhere between freshmen and sophmore year I decided to take sprinting more seriously. Perhaps it was my lack of progress on the runway that had me moving to the events with more coaching. But anyhow, I began to sharpen an unrefined talent; Sprinting. Sophmore year I learned that Indoor track was much more my element. In high school, I had always performed better indoor and college was proving to be no different. I feed off the energy of an attentive audience. Probably because people are actually focused on whats going on which boosts my adrenaline. Off topic, but this same concept applies to my Public Speaking.
Anyway, I had been performing very well the whole indoor season. Running faster and faster times every week. I would follow the times of other sprinters in the conference quite closely. Slightly different from how I am now, I actually cared about what the competition was doing. I used it as a measuring stick and also as motivation. My performances had me ranked as one of the top sleepers in the conference. I felt like an underdog and I was really looking forward to MEAC Indoor Championships 2005.
We hopped off the bus and entered the Sports and Learning complex in Landover, Md. It was a snowy February weekend. We went through our usual team warm ups and prepared for our races. I started to get those pregame butterflies. The things about Track & Field is that the big moments are very brief in proportion to the time that you have spent preparing for them. The stakes are always high. Before I could blink my heat was called and I stepped to the line for the preliminary race of the Men’s 60 Meter Dash. “On your mark… Get Set… BANG!” I got out smoothly and pulled away just how I imagined it. I crossed the line first contently. Meaning; Good race but you still have work to do in the Finals. I looked to the board to see my time and its flashing “NEW MEAC RECORD.” To my and everyone’s surprise, I had just broke the MEAC and Hampton School Record in the 60 Meter Dash. Boy what a feeling. “aaarggghhhhh!” As I jogged and let off a gladiator-like yell. Unforgettable moment for me.
That day I learned that it only takes one defining moment to change the way the world looks at you. But more importantly, it only takes a little hard work and imagination to change the way you look at yourself. I went on to take silver in the finals, but the “Fastest Man in the MEAC” title came home with Johnny.