The middle zone

Today has been just another rainy day in the Pacific Northwest. It has been like this for quite a few days now, and I am sick of it. Being a spring athlete means I have to train through this weather no matter what. The worst part of all is that I play a sport where most of your training is done outside. Yes, I am able to run on the “dreadmill” downstairs in my garage and watch my favorite basketball team, the New York Knicks, play ball. But I know that to really improve on last year I need to step outside and just do it.

The beginning of the run is always one of the hardest parts. My body is always freezing because I have not yet acclimated to the temperature as well as warm up my muscles. All of my muscles ache from yesterday’s hard run, but I know that I have to keep on going. I know that for every run I do I am just that much closer to reaching my goals for this season in track as well as my goals for running for a D1 school. These are the things that keep me going through those miserable and gloomy days. Some days are worse than others. I know tomorrow’s run is going to be pure pain because my skin has chafed so bad from the shorts rubbing up against my legs that I am now starting to receive cuts. Also, after reading Runner’s World from last month I have started this strength training routine. I never knew a wrestler’s bridge, pushups, v-sit ups, squats, and jumps could destroy my body so bad.

I have already met a pretty nice guy through this blog who also shares the same love of track as I do. He lives on the East Coast and is in winter track right now. Most of the states on the West Coast do not have indoor track. I was complaining to him about how many aches and pains I had a few days ago, and he made me realize something — all of the things I am doing will pay off in the end.

Before I started writing this post I just thought I was going to describe how miserable winter track training is, but I have made a correlation between winter training and the coming out process. Coming out to the first person was one of the scariest things I ever went through, but I was ready for it. This is the same as how I feel once my week off from training ends after cross-country season. The middle time between where you have just told the first person and when you are finally fully out can be very miserable.

A ton of stress is built up from wondering if everyone is going to accept who you are as well as whether you are ready to finally be open and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Just keep in mind that everything will get better in the end. For my winter training, I just have to keep on thinking that track starts in less than two months, and then I will finally be able to start competing again. I also know that my middle period is almost about to end because my process of fully coming out day is near.

Just remember that everything will get better. It is almost track season.

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About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
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8 Responses to The middle zone

  1. Mark D says:

    This blog helps me realize that athletes are people too…

    Hah. Good looks ;]

  2. Jay M. says:

    I have read almost all the posts this evening, and I must say, there’s 3 sets of parents out there that have raised 3 pretty smart guys. Your writing is amazing. But what is more amazing is the way you tell your stories. I hurt from reading this post. Your dedication, yes, it will pay off, in so many ways.
    Peace ❤
    Jay

  3. william says:

    I am so enjoying this blog. I am much older than all of you but it is so nice to hear from younger guys. Good luck on your new found friend and your athletics.
    Blessings to all of you.

  4. sprtsluvrr says:

    I just wanted to say thanks to you three young men for starting this blog. What a wonderful idea and I wish you all the best. I hope this helps more young people understand that being out and gay is OK. I look forward to reading more from all of you.

  5. ChrisKS says:

    Reading this post has made me remember how much I miss practice. For me it wasn’t running, but football. It’s been over a decade now since I had to deal with a spring weight lifting session or a summer two-a-day practice, but I can still remember the heat, the pain, and the enjoyment. I was never out in high school but I was able to use football to help manage my emotional ups and downs that were linked to being in the closet.

    I get your correlation between the stress of coming out and that of practice. I remember the first person I came to and how scary and stressful that was. It’s amazing looking how I went from that point in my life to where I am now; where I’ve been in a great relationship for the last 2 ½ years with someone my friends accept and my parents enjoy being around.

    In addition to football helping me deal a lot of emotions that come with being in high school, I believe that it also helped me develop the confidence and mental strength to handle the coming out process. In this way it might have been my greatest tool.
    Good work on the blog.

    Through your work and effort you are making it better for people your age and probably even older.

  6. Craig says:

    You’re right Brad, as long as you keep your head up and focus on your goals – you will achieve them and it will all be worth it. Just don’t forget to take some time and look back at where you started. Realizing the progress I have made in track and coming out is one of the best motivators to keep me going that I know; I’m sure it will prove to be the same for you.

  7. ger says:

    I live up in Vancouver (BC), and I’m sick of running in the rain, too. I don’t mind the cold, but man, my feet feel like they’re being skinned oh so slowly with every wet step around the sea wall.

    Sorry, just had to complain to someone who’d understand. I like your writing – keep it up!

  8. JC says:

    Congrats to all three of you for starting the blog. And nice job!

    I coach indoor track (also xc/outdoor track) in New England and we’ve been bothered by horrible weather conditions, also. Except it’s snow and frigid temps. We only had one practice this past week because of snow cancellations and have conference and state championships coming up; tough to get a team ready with the lack of practice and poor conditions to train in. Fortunately, we’re allowed to use our hallways – not all schools are.

    And you’re absolutely right about offseason conditioning – it’ll pay dividends. Keep up the good work. Your body will eventually adapt to the new lifting routine and won’t bother you so much after a couple weeks.

    Continued good luck with the training and fully coming out!

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