Photo by Carlos Serrao

Photo by Carlos Serrao

Today I had one of those Athena moments.

I powered through the finish line of my last 1200 meter repeat.  My time was better than all the previous reps, and exceeded what was asked of me by Coach Rowls.  Despite the inner pain and exhaustion I was feeling, 75% of it was kept inside in an attempt to master emotional control.  I didn’t stop for approval or a “good job.”  I simply kept walking beyond the finish line, hands on my hips as I rounded the bend in lane five, with no destination in mind.

As a younger athlete, I lived for the approval of a coach.

Before getting injured, I looked to my watch for reassurance and confidence that I was on track for success.

But as I walked away from my last interval today, a deep down feeling of contentment warmed me, making me forget the goosebumps on my freezing arms.  I felt 8 feet tall.  My feet, while moving slowly, strode forcefully into the tartan surface of the track with ownership.

It felt damn good for a change.