Or have they helped with your weight?
There are some great moments in the life of every American. For me, among the greatest ones are these memories that are as real to me as the sun rising on a clear day:
The first time I came home from school in fifth grade. I was in second grade and in the seventh through eighth grades, we moved to a new school in West Virginia. The new school just outside the city of Charleston, the kind of school where everyone knew everyone and students got to be friends with the same kids. It wasn’t long before I saw my class from across the street. One boy with blue eyes, brown hair, and a large smile ran straight in to my class. He was an amazing athlete.
He started a line for us when we got back to the school from lunch and he asked me, “Hi, where’s my backpack?” I said, “My backpack isn’t here.”
He laughed and ran back a few steps. I asked, “What’s your backpack?” He said, “I’m missing it. Let me catch you!” That was my first time seeing “I’m missing my backpack.”
I had just been picked on and belittled in class and to my surprise, that little moment of being laughed at and getting my backpack home was my first time feeling anything more than laughter and embarrassment.
It doesn’t take long after that for a new friend to show up in my life, but this guy was on a brand new track, one that nobody was really ready for yet. But after some practice sessions and some serious race training, we got the opportunity to go to a small track in Baltimore.
It was a long process and some challenges I had to accept. But after I got there, the people around me seemed more interested in who I was because I wasn’t competing, they were just there to see the kid who had just won the state high school championship. They all wanted to talk to me and ask about the track. They all thought that I had this strange skill that they didn’t understand yet and they were waiting for some sort of an answer. But once I was told the track existed because this guy wanted me to see it, I fell in love.
Eventually, I was going to be a professional track & field athlete for the U.S. Naval Academy.
The first time I went to the Naval Academy was to race track, after I had already graduated from high school. There
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