Being an Olympiad – Music – Passionate Exuberance
When I was in high school I was on the Helix track and cross country teams. It was a place for anyone who wanted to participate in a sport could be on the team, even if that person “sucked.” I always thought I was a great runner because I was passionate about being an athlete. I LOVED working out and running. It did kind of bother me that I would be the “best runner” the first couple of days of hell week, and by the end of the second week of the season, even the new people were beating me (after I showed them the ropes and was their “mentor”). I would rationalize the fact that everyone was faster than me thinking, “Boy, there is a lot of unbelievable talent here at Helix.”
One day in my sophomore year, my second season on the track team, my coach pulled me aside and said, “Rosalie, I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re slow.” I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I became incredibly sad, depressed, and almost quit the team. But I never believe in quitting. One of my mantras in life is, “I will show them.”
Luckily, the fast runners appreciated what I could bring to the team – passionate exuberance. Carol Keller, the CFI champ four years in a row, paced me one race my senior year so I could run a six-minute mile and get a varsity letter. The best time I could ever do alone was a seven-minute mile. I needed to get the six-minute mile to get that varsity letter. Carol lost that race to girls who couldn’t believe they were beating the great Carol Keller. Carol swallowed her pride and ran with me to the finish line losing for the first time in her high school running career.
So what does this story have to do with being an Olympiad and music? When I was doing road-runs with the track team, I would sing. One day I pulled a huge banana leaf off a plant while we were running down the street. I got in front of the runners and pretended it was the Olympic flag. I started humming the Olympic song – humming really loud – I yelled, “Let’s pretend we are in the Olympics.” All the girls laughed at first, felt a little self-conscious, but within seconds we were all humming at the top of our lungs the Olympic song. Our team was so connected at that moment we would have done anything for each other. Singing as a team became a norm. Most of our road-runs from then on consisted of singing, humming, laughing, and aspiring to be great!
I never would have lettered in track if it weren’t for singing and pretending. Carol Keller was one of my “Olympic” team members that day running behind the banana leaf. In musical comedies, everyone stops what they are doing and starts singing and dancing in unison. One would think it could never happen in the real world. That day our track team stopped and were running and singing in unison. It was the same feeling I got when I was watching those old movies. With music and “passionate exuberance,” anyone can become a varsity runner, maybe even an Olympiad. Trust me.
email@example.com – Lettered in Track (Varsity)