Deadline is no joke.
I am an editorial intern for Cleveland Magazine in Playhouse Square,and in the last two weeks, I have spent hours calling and interviewing people,checking facts and, sometimes, twiddling my thumbs in anticipation for the story that would hit my desk next.
This opportunity has been one of the most rewarding I have had in my college career thus far, but it came with a price.
My final push to come to John Carroll back in 2012 was that I was going to be running for the varsity track and field team. Little did I know I would have to make the decision to leave the team with one semester of college left.
I’ve given a few shout-outs in past columns for the JCU track team, because, in all honesty, that team is filled with some of the most beautiful, genuine people I have ever met, and they deserve to be recognized.
At first glance, plainly, this team is weird. But they work the word weird. They are weirdly working weirdos who love life and want nothing more than to be happy, successful and proud of themselves, their teammates and their coaches. And they are! That’s what’s so beautiful of this group of people – they just want to be themselves without any filters or fronts.
To some people, that’s weird. To me, it’s inspiring.
During the busy moments these past two weeks, I suppose I accidentally made an internal effort to reflect on my time as an athlete, specifically as a John Carroll athlete.
Randomly, I’d think to myself, “They’re at Spire [Institute] by now,” or “I miss Frankie, and Swish, and Gabs, and Hydzik, and Noelle and DT…” and so on and so forth.
Two weekends ago, I was so sad I missed records being broken and personal best races as my teammates crossed the finish line one after another. So, over the weekend, I decided to head to Columbus and see those amazing people show the D3 world what they’ve got.
The athletes that competed at Otterbein in the All Ohio Championships last weekend had to qualify to compete, so they’re already the top of the food chain when it comes to D3 track and field in Ohio.
We sat, stood, jumped and ducked as participants ran circles, well, ovals, around the indoor facility, and although there were exciting and competitive races, the best part was being immersed back into a place so close to home.
When I decided not to compete, the coaches explained to me that when I stop coming around, that’s what they’d be upset. They understood and completely backed up my decision by saying it would be illogical to not go after my dream. Kyle, Jake and Bobby (Kshhh. Over.) were extremely supportive in the opportunity I was given, and I will be forever grateful for that.
The most valuable and profound point the coaches said was that I am still a part of this team. That meant a lot to me. I’ve invested a lot of time with this program over the last three plus years, and knowing I am still welcomed is entirely warming.
Being out on the track at Otterbein cheering on athletes not only from JCU, but from a variety of other schools, made me feel at peace. It was actually quite nostalgic seeing recently vacant faces, but as I walked away I became completely reassured and, simply, happy.
Last weekend I was reminded that I will always be welcomed as an athlete, friend and family member of the JCU track and field team; the people we meet in life, no matter what venue or situation, are a part of our story, and it is up to us if we wish to pursue lasting relationships with them; and, finally, I made the best decision for me this semester.
Sometimes the skeptics of your own brain become your biggest enemy. I was so worried about losing friends, missing out and not being fulfilled by a leap of faith, yet the mere center of it all has showed me that sometimes the leap is worth it.