The Dropped Baton Ended My Track Career

Lee Hansen By Lee Hansen, 9th Sep 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Sports>Athletics (Track & Field)

Life is sometimes about taking risks. Read what this writer learned after a humiliating experience.

Olympic Games

I love looking at the Olympics, especially the summer ones. Track and field is by far my favorite event.

It's amazing to see how the athletes have beat "their body into submission" to get to great heights in their careers. Spectators definitely see the results of years and years of discipline and training.

Records are no sooner set than broken. Some records stand longer than others, while others are mercilessly obliterated.

Personal Childhood Experience

It brings me back when I was about 11 years old. The local community center down the street from my home had different recreational activities for the youth in the neighborhood. For some strange reason I was selected to be a part of the track and field team. I'm not really sure if the coach actually saw potential in me. Undoubtedly I was just another warm body that helped make up a complete team.

At any rate, I was the chosen one. After having several practices we began to gel as a team. Eventually we were scheduled to participate in competitive events with other teams throughout the city.

I Dropped the Baton!

The day of our first competition had finally arrived. The adrenalin was running high, while my confidence was at an all-time low. But it was time to put my newly-acquired skills into play.

I was looking at other teams running around the track and successfully handing their batons off to the next runner. And then it was my turn. Yikes!!

In my haste to convince myself I could actually do this, I dropped the baton when it was handed to me. Silly me. I kept running around the track. Faintly I remember hearing whistles and screams for me to stop running. What was I doing?

No Track Career in My Future

I was embarrassed and humiliated. I felt I let the team down. I was beyond consolation. There were no high fives or slaps of joy for me. It didn't take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that track and field would not be in my future.

I Love the Sport as a Spectator Not as a Participant

Perhaps that's why I love it so much today. In the back of my mind, I imagine I could have been a Jackie Joyner-Kersee or Wilma Rudolph. Oh well, I've finally accepted the fact that it's not going to ever happen.

All these years later I still find myself glued to the television when track meets are on. The only difference is that I am now sitting at home cheering the athletes on. And honestly knowing myself as I do, I wouldn't be as dedicated or as disciplined as they have to be.

A Life Lesson

It's a good thing my life has not been hampered by that experience. I learned to get up, dust myself off and start all over again.

Life is sometimes about taking risks and challenges. I never would have known this was not my niche without at least giving it a try. I want to be able to look back on life knowing that the journey was great. I want to try new things and stretch the limits. Who knows what else might be discovered along the way? And besides, nothing ventured is nothing gained.

Credit: Pictures from Wikimedia Commons


Athletes, Baton, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Olympic Games, Olympics, Sports, Track And Field, Wilma Rudoph

Meet the author

author avatar Lee Hansen
As a breast cancer survivor I have learned to take time to smell the roses in life. I love sharing my passion of reading to children. My pages will be on various topics.

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author avatar Retired
9th Sep 2014 (#)

Oh, gosh, Lee -- the angst we feel is especially sharp when we're so young. As usual, you certainly did pick yourself up, dust yourself off and learn from the experience. You're an incredible woman. Wonderful share.

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author avatar Lee Hansen
9th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks Susan. Things that were once devastating as a youth makes you some times laugh as an adult:)

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author avatar Delicia Powers
11th Sep 2014 (#) keep the baton of life held high that all that really matters-:0)- may thanks for sharing your life lesson each one a very real treasure...!

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author avatar Lee Hansen
11th Sep 2014 (#)

Thanks D. Life lessons are often foundations for learning.

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