Personal Narrative: Running For The Track Team

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When I first started running for the track team freshman year, I was so innocently-minded and had not noticed a simple demographic difference in the people who tend to run the long-distance events and the sprinting events. My first race, I jogged up to the starting line and looked at my competitors left and right of me who happened to all seem much larger and more experienced than I was. That was all I noticed. A few minutes later one of the girls at the line jokingly said to me with a surprised manner that I was the little white girl running the 200 meter dash and I was going to get smoked by the genetically-advantaged black girls running in my heat. Her comment confused me because I didn’t think it mattered that I was white but I brushed it off my shoulders and ran. It was not that this one girl had said this one thing that bugged me, it was that I seemed to be struck as a target for attention in several races I competed in even though I was getting the same times as these girls I ran with if not better.

After about a year had passed, I was still running my events but I had been feeling
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People didn’t care. I cared. I was my own worst enemy. I am my own worst enemy. I didn’t even know what it meant to be on the team. It wasn’t about skin color it was about running and making friends and beating personal records and trophies, and I had reverted my could-have-been perspective of being proud that I was a unique participant on the team to dreading it and being overly dramatic about things like race that don’t really matter. I could have been embracing myself and who I was mixed with my talents and just ran. Instead I was hiding in the bathroom at the time of my race to skip it and not regret it because I could have sworn peoples eyes were on me because I looked different than the other girls. I was running just like the other girls were and the fact that I have a minor difference with them meant absolutely nothing, especially if I was a great
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