CJ Chase: It means so much more than that.

Bishan Stadium, 8:31pm

Track and Field finals ended on Wednesday. And this felt important to me, though I feel this importance fades in comparison to others — because of the simple fact that I’ve only been in this CCA for slightly over a year, and I can hardly consider myself an athlete for I do not possess the admirable resilience and motivation some trackers I know do. But.. Wednesday was one of the few times I’ve truly felt connected and part of something greater, something amazingly more profound than what I truly am.

I’ve always been strongly attuned to individualism; I’ve grown up singularly as an only kid  and had to get used to being by myself a lot. Therefore I’ve caved into a mindset of looking within, never yearning to seek a new kind of experience where I could… you know… find a new dimension to how I view the normalcy of things in life. And yes. Track and Field was that fray where I first recognised the whirlwind of battered emotions, bodies, hearts and at the same time; raw, unveiled happiness. It’s really the very first time I recognised how passion really, really was like.

I do feel I have absolutely no right to say this — I’m a tracker, yes, but I feel I do not deserve that title. For this word connotes so much. The sweat, the moment when your breath snaps after so many interval trainings, the drenched socks, the reluctant lacing up of shoes to start another afternoon’s training, the conflict between the mind and the body.  And also definitely how potent the track smells even from the Bishan bus stop — a strange mix of the three o’clock afternoon blaze, coarse rubber, beaten down soles. I do admit many many times during earlier trainings I’ve failed to see the bigger picture of this wonderful entity of Track and Field, of others committing even greater dedication — all for the same goal… but garnering even better values and things to learn in the journey.

My only regret at this point in time was that I didn’t join this sport earlier in my life. I thought four years of guitar ensemble was tough. No, it really wasn’t. It was simply mindless. Other than the fact I can still play guitar (poorly), I’ve learnt nothing except of how to position myself exactly the right way on the nondescript blue plastic chair — my feet perched on an elevated surface, my thighs propped high — so I could place my head on the side of the classical guitar and fall asleep to make the three hours go faster. Four years and one SYF where I STILL wasn’t sure of the notes so I had to peer over to look at Mavis’s playing discreetly. Speaking of Mavis, I’m pretty sure she felt the same regret.

Four years compared to a mere one and a half. Yet the latter has taught me so much more I could ever expect and give. It may be considered an individual sport, but personally I feel it constitutes more teamwork than simply being a lone singularity. You’re thrown headfirst into the fray, but in your heart you know full well of this intangible greatness… far more than you can ever, ever be… but somehow you are part of it. And that’s passion. That’s what I was taught throughout my short journey in this CCA. And for that I am so grateful.

I’ve witnessed passion firsthand in the form of tears (including my own, which was really embarrassing), crushing disappointment, well-deserved victories. And really, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Also… my track team.

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 11.17.12 pm

Before I joined this amazing CCA, I’ve never really understood nor felt the team spirit everyone around me seemed to have. But now I do. It’s a huuuuge huge team comprising of both the Track and Field and Cross Country seniors and juniors (who are really crazy talented and good?!?!) and I thank everyone here (and previously… I miss my seniors!) who shared the same sort of passion and motivation. There’s just so much to admire from everyone here. Be it the level-headedness, curiosity, rationality and the attitude of never, ever giving up (especially Tiffany and Ananth, who will probably not read this), everyone just melds so, so well together and I am super grateful for everyone!

The seniors of the team hahaha. And as what was captioned on Twitter, this is my 家. 

After I got home after track dinner on finals day, I decided to get out and take a long walk by myself. I wasn’t sure what I was thinking of, but I felt such a sense of overwhelming warmth and closure that I stopped short for a bit. (and I realised I forgot to take a picture with Coach :( Have to get back to training specifically for that purpose someday hahaha)

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 11.17.41 pm

As I quote from Mavis’s new blog,

It’s great to be part of something special. 

(Thank you.)

Shiyin

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