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April 24, 2012Posted by on
“We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t… don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told.” – Moneyball
I’ve been distracted the past few months. Despite all of my avowals of being “in the zone” and my usual, post-training shout of “great workout,” I’ve been suffering from a crisis. Even if I’ve regained a good measure of my hurdling technique and physical fitness, something was horribly missing. The fact that I’m always hard-pressed for time made matters even worse. Regardless of all these complications, I soldiered on. I ignored the growing discontentment, beneath my facade of inspired, come-backing underdog.
I actually stopped hurdling during the latter parts of 2011, but reversed my decision soon after. This time around, I can honestly say that I’ve had it. I am sick and tired of the balancing act and the rampant mediocrity. The hurdles is about speed and grace. If I can’t hurdle beautifully in between those 1.067m high barriers, I’d rather not compete at all.
My hurdling days are over.
I am quitting on my own terms, in a perfectly logical state of mind, without the ill-effects of bad blood and rancor. Although I’m terribly saddened by the end of my competitive hurdling, I know for a fact that the future holds much promise. At 26 years of age, one can only continue to compete for so long. There comes a time, as a poignant line from the movie Moneyball puts it, “we’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game.”
Looking back, I have no regrets in deciding to make a comeback. I’ve been at it since February 2010 and I’ve learned and experienced a lot. I rekindled my lost ties with athletics and gained much self-awareness, in the countless times I spent training alone. In those two years and three months I’ve rediscovered my passion. I felt alive as I chased dreams both new and old. As I moved forward in athletics and grew older in life, I made peace with my oft-turbulent collegiate athletics experience.
What sets the sprint hurdles apart from any sport – from any discipline in athletics, for that matter – is its demanding nature. A sprint hurdler must possess speed, technical prowess and fearlessness to efficiently skim over the 10 barriers. Take away one of those three facets, the hurdler will crumble. In contrast to basketball or triathlon, one cannot possibly be a “weekend hurdler.” It is an anachronism that does the discipline much injustice.
The sprint hurdles require wholehearted dedication.
Even if I haven’t achieved much, I’m glad to say that I’ve given it the old college try. As I move forward in life, I’ll always look back at the my hurdling days not with questions of what-might-have-been, but with a certain sense of fondness.