Is Chasing Boys Even a Talent?

I went on my first cross-country race because I wanted a day off from school. I wanted to meet kids from other schools. I was basically just being me.

Now there were some in our group who were so nervous about this race, they threw up. I wasn't one of them. I never really understood the competitive nature of any sport, and at 36, I still don't.  But that's okay, I still learn things in my own weird way.

We had to run with the boys in a ditch between the highway and the woods. We weren't against the guys, just running with, I guess this saves time in these long races. So our clump sets off and the guys sprinted ahead of us girls. Well, the girls were at a leisurely jog, gabbing and all seemed to know each other. One was ahead of me and had her hood up, and there was also a guy a few paces behind Hoody. So I decided I'd go meet them, since meeting two seemed easier than integrating into a pack of girls, and I had to talk to someone. I mean, it was a long race.

So the guy talked with me. I learnt that he was from the Reservation and that he planned to be a doctor. He was very nice, but after awhile he said, "Guess I should join the other guys, eh?" and with a chuckle he sprinted up to the pack that was ahead of us. The group of gals was very far behind us, and I wasn't about to stop running to let them catch up, so that left me and the gal in the hoody. But every time I got closer, she glanced over her shoulder at me and sprinted ahead. Okay rude.

A few minutes in, I realized we were alone. The clump of guys in front of us were thinning out, and the gaggle of gabbers was lost around the bend. Still, she wouldn't let me run with her. Maybe she didn't like talking while she ran. We were running fast, way faster than I was used to.


She was running to win. Well, okay, I could respect that, right? So I followed her, no conversation. At least we were together, because the idea of running along the woods by myself was frankly, a little terrifying. It was a long run, but the scenery was nice and people drove by to cheer us on and I felt safe with this rude chicky in front of me. Although, I must admit, she could run fast. I was actually getting a little tired when I saw the finish line ahead of me. And well, I usually didn't run hard enough to get played out! With a glance over her shoulder she sprinted ahead, and so I sprinted too, still not sure why, but it was fun to kick it up a notch.

Now our sprint really got  the people at the finish line going nuts. My school group was almost on top of the bus. Geesh. So before anything, I walked up to this gal who was so dedicated to win, and "she" drops her hoody and reveals the shocking truth. I'd been chasing after a guy. The girls still were no where in sight. That's right, this guy didn't want a gal to beat him. I wasn't sure if I should be insulted or feel guilty for chasing after him, but I didn't have time to fret about him and his ego because that meant...

I actually won a race I went to for fun. And not only won, I was standing there recovering and the girls were still out there someplace. I had no idea I could run as fast as a guy. It meant I wasn't pushing myself half as hard as I should be. It meant I could do better. And even though I won, it didn't feel like I did.

I mean, in what world is chasing after a guy who wanted nothing to do with me, followed by a group of girls who I found intimidating a talent?

Ever stand in a crowd of cheering people and feel utterly alone? 
That was me. No one knew the truth but me. I sucked. I wasn't talented at all, I was just afraid to run alone. I was just intimidated by the gals I wanted to meet. I hadn't really meant to win.

Still everyone; coaches, friends, family, nurtured my "talent". I ran many races and brought home many medals trying to prove to myself that I didn't suck. It never got me anywhere, but it taught me drive, determination, endurance, and that it's not about winning, but actually wanting something no one else understands.

What talents do you have and how were they discovered? What did they teach you?


Murees Dupé said...

Wow! That is just amazing! You should give yourself more credit. You really did brilliantly! I tell myself that one of my best talents is my writing. It has brought me through some tough times and taught me about hard work. It also made me more patient, as one has to be, if you are always waiting for a response or rejection letter.

Richard Hughes said...

I was pretty darn good at ping pong.

Tanya Reimer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tanya Reimer said...

Murees, good for you. Writing is probably the hardest thing I do, too. Yet something I work this hard at can't be called talent. hee hee. More like insanity.

Richard, ping pong, eh? Maybe you could teach me. lol

Victoria Lindstrom said...

During my teen years I was very talented at driving my little sister crazy! ^_^

Samantha Sotto said...

Okay...the internet hates me today. This is my third attempt at leaving a comment. If the other two comments pop up like sparkly magic unicorns, kindly ignore them. Anyhoo...

Does being able to make my tummy roll sideways count as a talent? (Or does is just make me a circus freak?) ;-)

Anonymous said...

Something new about you!

I ran in high school for a year, but I really did suck. And then the school doctor who had to do my sports physical (meaning she'd never met me before, unlike my own doctor who'd known me since I was born) implied that I was anorexic, so I decided I didn't need a sport that badly. Instead, I had music.


Teresa Cypher said...

I love this story--and I can see how that attitude serves you well in the writing world. :-)

Talents? Nothing physical. I mean, I do okay, but I'm so "ungraceful". Ha! That's a nice way of saying it, ;-)

What comes naturally, like your running? The only thing I can think of is being creative with cookies and cakes. Wow, lol, that sounds pathetic!

Wait. I do have one weird talent. The thing on aptitude tests where you look at 3 dimensional shapes laying flat. You have to match tabs--lettered, to figure out which shape object it will be when the tabs are matched to assemble it properly. Anyway, I've always been in the 99th percentile. Right. So, what good does that do ,lol! Dont plan a career around that. BUT, I started sewing fleece hats for fun. Bought one pattern, then designed all the rest of the patterns that I've since used. Hats, slippers, mittens etc. I can visualize how things are cut and joined together.

That, and a buck-fifty will get me a cup of coffee ;-)

Great blog post, Tanya! :-)