Реферат на тему Hurt Me Essay Research Paper I think
Hurt Me Essay, Research Paper
I think part of the problem is that I was perfect once. It only
lasted for about five minutes, but I guess Im supposed to be
grateful it ever happened or something. Actually, I think it kind of
messed me up. Maybe because I was too young or something. I guess
perfect usually happens when youre young, though. You just dont see
old people being perfect much. Or maybe theyre perfect a lot of the
time, just nobody notices.
Have you ever noticed the most important things happen when were
too young to understand that some big deal is going on? I think God
should sort of tap you on the shoulder and say Pay attention, youre
going to want to remember this. Or maybe he does, but we ignore it.
Anyway, this perfect deal happened when I was not quite 16. I was
sort of a jock. Well, a track guy. A lot of people dont think of
track guys as jocks. Id been this real scrawny kid, sort of the
class nerd, all my life. And I was a year younger than most of the
other kids in my class, which I didnt like much. Everyone else was
driving and had dates and stuff. I didnt date, though. I mean I
wanted to date, but I wouldve had to beg some guy to double date. I
didnt really have any friends that would have done anything like
that. Besides, what I really wanted was a date with like some
knockout babe, but Im pretty sure none of them knew I was alive. Id
have probably ended up with some real chubby girl or something. And
shed have probably been wishing she was with somebody else the whole
So, I guess I thought if maybe I was a jock or something, then
girls would notice me. But most of the jock stuff I tried, I pretty
much just got my butt kicked. I was really small, and I seem to
remember being scared *censored*less most of the time. My dad, hed been
this like mondo jock in college. He tried to not be disappointed
about the butt-kicking stuff, but he was anyway. You can always tell
when your parents are trying to not be disappointed. I think maybe
thats worse than when theyre screaming at you. But he wasnt around
much, my dad, so I guess it really wasnt a big deal or anything.
Anyway, I tried track when I was a freshman in high school. I
mean, you hardly ever see track guys getting their butts knocked off,
and I guess running seemed kind of natural. Id had a lot of
experience at that.
You know, you always read well you dont always read, since
nobody writes that much about running track, except in those runners
magazines where everybody acts like they really like running. I
really dont think they like it, though, most of them. Except for the
ones that are really out there getting some sort of huge endorphin
rush from running about 20 miles a day. I think mostly they just try
to like it, since they feel like they have to. I mean, since theyre
writing about it. I dont think a running magazine would buy an
article from some guy about how he hates running.
Anyway, when you do read about guys who run track, they always
saying stuff like I per track because of the individuality of the
competition or I like that Im only competing with myself. I think
thats bull*censored*, mostly. I think mostly guys run track cause theyre
fast, and couldnt play football.
And I was really pretty good at it. Not like I was going to the
Olympics or anything, but I made the varsity as a freshman, which was
kind of unusual. It was kind of funny. I was good at all the events,
but not great at any of them. I was kind of a track utility guy. I
could run everything from the 100-yard dash to the mile. I dont know
if you know much about track, but thats real unusual. Most of the
time youve got your distance guys and your sprinting guys, but I
could do all of them.
At first I was mostly relay fodder, you know, just running on the
relay teams. But by my sophomore year I was running a lot of
individual events, especially the mile and half-mile. I liked the
mile best, though. You know what I really liked about it? The
pointless stupidity of it all. The whole thing consists of going
around in a circle, again and again. The goal is to go around the
circle a little faster than everybody else. When everythings said
and done, though, youre right back where you started, only youre
real tired and sweaty. Oh, and sometimes you get to puke, too. I
really think they should give style points in track, like they do in
gymnastics. You know, take a few seconds off some guy time if he
looks like hes really enjoying it, or has a great stride or
Anyway, I was a lot faster sprinter than the real distance
runners, so I would sort of lag back for most of the race and then
run like a bastard the last 200 yards. Usually, Id pass most of the
field. Seems like Id always finish second or third, though. The
coach was always telling me to run the whole race, not just sprint at
the end. He thought Id do better that way, but I didnt really think
so. Seeing as how I was a good sprinter, I figured I should use my
speed. And people really kind of got excited when I was sprinting
that last 200 yards. I mean, even while I was running and all, I
could see them screaming in the stands. I dont think theyd have
gotten so interested if the finish wasnt exciting. I guess I sort of
liked that, seeing the girls yelling for me and everything.
Anyway, I was going to tell you about that time I was perfect.
See, after my sophomore year, I was still 15. That was sort of a
disadvantage in high school track, but the AAU has the Junior
Olympics every year or two. And there was an age group in track just
for people under 16. So I figured, most of the kids in this age
group, they hadnt run high school track like I had, so maybe Id
have an advantage if I entered. The first meets at the city and state
levels, I pretty much cleaned up. And the best part was the finals
for the Tri-State region were in Memphis, where I lived.
Its not like theres really a home field advantage in track or
anything, but I tried to psych myself up that there was. You see, the
top three finishers got to run in the Southeast region, which seemed
like a really big deal at the time. Anyhow, about a week before the
meet, we got this notice about who was running in it, and how fast
theyd run in their qualifying races. I guess my bubble really burst
then, because almost every guy entered had faster times than I did.
And there was this one kid who was only 14, but was like the next Jim
Ryan or something. It was pretty clear that I was outclassed.
And as if that wasnt bad enough, my dad decided he was going to
come. He brought his wife, too. I think that was the third wife. Real
cute blonde bimbo about 50 years younger than him. Id been running
for two years, and theyd never had time to work one of my races into
their busy social schedule.
But this time, this guy who worked for my dad had a kid running in
another race. He knew I was running, and I guess he was trying to
schmooze up to dad or something, telling him how great it was them
both having kids in the Junior Olympics. So suddenly, my dads coming
to watch me run. Or probably, he was really coming so this other guy
would see him watching me run.
So right before the race, I try to break the news to my dad that
Im going to get creamed. I try to start out gently, you know, saying
I hope maybe I can get third, so I can go to the regional finals.
Well, he just goes ape*censored*, standing up and getting all red. Losers
are guys who dont think they can win, he says. And I always ran to
win, I always played to win. And on and on. So I just kind of left
with him mouthing at me. I guess he was real disappointed his kid
wasnt going to kick some butt, what with his employee there and all.
And as if my parents being there wasnt bad enough, the guy in
charge of organizing the mile comes up to me and asks if Ill be a
rabbit, since he knows Im not exactly competitive with these guys. A
rabbit is a guy who goes out and runs the first half of the race
really fast, then drops out. That helps the other guys push
themselves and get good times, and this organizer wants his race to
have the fastest times in the region.
Well, I figured since Im not going to win or anything, I can do
that. And I guess I thought, you know, I might as well lead for a
while. I kind of thought maybe dad would think that at least I tried
hard and stuff. And maybe instead of quitting at the halfway point, I
can just slow down and at least finish.
So they line us up to start, and off we go. Now I figure since Im
supposed to be the rabbit, Ill just run my usual half-mile pace. The
field sticks with me around the first turn, just starting to string
out. If youve never run a mile, its about half-way through the first
turn where you sort of loosen up and just get into your rhythm. So we
come out of the turn, and Im feeling real smooth and loose. Which is
real surprising since Id been so emotional and tense and all before
the race. But now Im feeling real good. And Id never lead a race
early like this, so its kind of cool. Some guys I know are clapping
and cheering. They think Im really doing great or something. I mean,
theyre all sprinters and field guys, so they dont really have a
clue that the guy in front at first is gonna get toasted later on.
Anyway, Im feeling good, but I got to admit Im a little pissed
off about them asking me to be the rabbit and all, so I figure Ill
kind of *censored* with their minds a little. So on the backstretch I open
up a little. Not too much, cause theres no way Im not going to
finish that first half mile, but enough to put a few yards between me
and the pack. Now these guys are all pretty good runners, and they
know better than to put out that much energy this early. Theyre
running smart races. But I know theyve got to be wondering what was
I doing. And really, I couldnt tell you. I guess I was just pissed
off. And maybe I thought I would like have a moment in the spotlight
So we go through the second turn. That second turns when I
usually start breathing hard. You really have to consciously control
your breathing when that happens. See, if your breathing gets ragged,
you start losing you stride. If you lose your stride, suddenly
instead of just running smooth, everything gets sort of uncoordinated
and you really slow up. But if you control your breathing for a few
seconds, you start this real regular, fast deep breathing and
everything gets back to normal. You can lose a lot of distance if you
let your breathing get ragged during that transition.
Well, what with that show-off sprint in the back stretch, I
struggled a little more than usual getting my breathing right, and I
lost my stride some. Not much, but enough to slow me down for a dozen
steps or so, and the field caught up. But once I got my stride back,
I decided Im going to get a lead before the home stretch, so I
opened up again for 50 yards. And that was what it really was all
about, I guess, because I sure remember leading the pack up the home
stretch, right in front of the grandstand. And I was trying not to
grin. I mean I didnt grin or anything, but I sure felt like
When we went past the start/finish line, a timer was yelling the
lap time Sixty-four, sixty-four, which was really fast. Myself, I
usually never went below 70 seconds on the first lap, but then I
never ran below 4:50 for the mile. But some of the guys in that field
could approach 4:30, so I figured the lap time was just right for
And around we went again. I tried really hard to keep the pace
exactly the same, which was kind of difficult for me. Id never run
in front before, so this was really a new experience. But I figured
if I was slowing down too much, someone would have passed me. Anyway,
I made it through that second lap, and the half-mile time was 2:12,
which was about as perfect as you could do.
Now a real rabbit, he would just run off the track into the
infield after the second lap, but I was going to try to finish. Since
I hadnt run off the track, the guys behind me would have to run
outside of me to pass in the turn, making them run an extra distance.
I didnt want to screw up anybodys time or anything, so I tried
really hard to keep the pace up through the turn on that third lap.
But as soon as we got onto the backstretch one of the hotshots blew
past me. By the end of the backstretch, another went by. But
actually, I was kind of surprised that the whole field wasnt past
me. I mean, I was really starting to labor by then. I huffed through
the turn still in third place, though. What I hadnt realized, I
guess, is that Id really strung out a lot of the field on those
first two laps.
For one glorious moment when I realized I was still in third
place, I really started to think that maybe I had a shot at that last
spot going to the regional finals. But going down the home stretch
another person swung out to pass me. I tried to pick my pace up,
thinking if I could just hold him outside till the turn came up,
maybe having to run that extra distance around the turn would keep
him from passing me. But I didnt have anything left to pick up with.
He went prancing by, right in front of the grandstand, while I seemed
to be running in mud.
Finishing the home stretch took an eternity, and by the time I
started the front turn for the last time I as running back on my
heels. And I heard another runner close behind. Running on your
heels, thats the death rattle of a distance runner. When youre
running you stay on your toes. Your heels never touch the ground.
When youve shot your wad, and your leg muscles start to knot up,
then you cant help but dropping back on your heels. Suddenly, you
feel a kind of jarring impact with each step. When that happens, its
time to drop out and quit.
But I really wanted to finish the race. Now dont get me wrong.
Finishing things I started wasnt real common behavior for me, even
back then. But I guess I didnt wanted to hear what a quitter I was
from my superjock dad. And I guess I was still pissed about being the
rabbit, at least a little bit. So I just kept plodding around the
first turn. And the guy behind me realized I was toast, and decided
to just wait till the back stretch to take me. Or maybe he didnt
give a *censored*, since the first three finishers were at least 10 yards
ahead of us by then. They had that regional trip all locked up.
I dont remember most of that turn, but I sure remember entering
the backstretch. This was the fourth time in four minutes Id been
there, but it sure looked different. For a moment that lasted forever
I just stared down that backstretch. The last turn seemed two miles
away, and I realized I couldnt possibly make it. I couldnt even
When the guy behind me swung out to pass, I saw it was the 14-
year-old whiz kid. I sort of glanced over at him, and you could tell
from his face he thought he could catch the guys 10 yards ahead of
us, which was crazy. I mean, in a local race, at a local pace, I
could maybe make up 10 yards. But I was a closet sprinter. This kid
was a miler, and this wasnt the local competition.
Do you know much about running distance in track? Well, I tell
you, theres more to it than just being the best runner. Sometimes
theres a lot of pushing and shoving, and in those days we wore these
shoes with half inch long spikes for traction. Those spikes were
weapons, and you learned pretty quick not to let someone get real
close behind you. Id lost a couple of races when someone stuck his
spikes in my calf, but I guess I might have won a couple that way,
Well, as this kid swings out behind me, he nicks me with his
spikes. Not badly, but really unnecessary, since it was obvious I was
no competition. I guess being young, he didnt realize you should
wait till youre out of range before you pull that *censored*. He was still
right beside me, and by lex I sort of elbowed him on his hip,
which threw him totally off his stride. You can get away with using
your outside arm like that in the backstretch, since the officials
are all on the other side of the track.
It took him a couple of steps to get his balance back, which put
him a yard behind me. I knew those spikes would be clawing my leg
next time he went by, and out of some self-preservation lex,
suddenly I was sprinting. I mean a second ago, I could barely keep
running, and now Ive started a sprint 300 yards away from the
finish. I sure wasnt thinking of any strategy. I guess I just didnt
want any more spikes in my leg, or something.
I do remember thinking Id just keep going as long as I could. I
dont know what I thought would happen after that. Maybe Id cramp up
or something, so I could sort of quit with honor. Im not sure,
exactly. And I remember hearing that angry kid pounding behind me,
trying to catch up. At least I had the satisfaction of ruining his
finishing sprint by making him start too early.
I dont remember much about that last 300 yards. Pain. I remember
a lot of pain, and later people told me I was wobbling from side to
side, sort of staggering up the finish stretch. I guess they were
hollering and stuff, but I didnt know it. I didnt even know what
place Id come in until someone told me later. One of my friends told
me that my mouth was gaping open and I was sort of spraying saliva
all over myself. Probably not a pretty sight. I suppose it was a good
thing they werent giving style points in that race.
I didnt care if the girls were cheering, or my dad was proud of
me, or if I was running on my heels. I didnt care if I staggered and
wobbled, or even if I won. You know, for a minute there, I just
didnt care about anybody or what they thought about me. I just kept
running really hard and fast after I should have quit. I know you
guys are about to bust a gut to ask me, How did I feel? and all
that psychobabble crap. I felt like puking, OK? Thats about all I
If this was a movie or something, Id probably tell you how I won
the race. It was pretty close actually. I kept going those 300 yards
finished that race in 4:38, almost 15 seconds faster than Id ever
run before, or would ever run again. I came in second, one-tenth of a
second behind the winner, one-tenth ahead of the third place guy.
Or maybe Id tell you how I found my true spirit that day and went
on to be some famous track guy. Oh, I made my trip to the regionals,
where I finished dead last. I never ran in competition again after
that. My senior year, I just couldnt get really interested in it.
And I didnt find some inner peace that day and become a popular,
self confident type guy. I guess we all know that didnt happen.
Now that Im talking about it like this, it seems that what
happened that day wasnt very important. Kind of like the rest of my
life, I guess. I went around in circles for a while, trying to look
good and busting my ass just to get back where I started. After that
I laid on the ground and hurt. Oh, yeah, and I puked, too. Probably
some people were a little interested and entertained for a while, but
it didnt change anybodys world or anything.
Except maybe mine, a little bit. Sometimes I see these people that
seem to have everything. You know, those smart, good looking, rich
guys with the arm candy wives. Sometimes I get real jealous of those
guys with their perfect lives. Most of the time, though, I think,
Hey, I was perfect, once, for a little while. But it took an
incredible amount of effort, it really didnt matter, and I made
myself sick doing it.