INNER CITY STORIES
It all started back in eighth grade
The year my grades weren't exactly straight
and before the life of an athlete
that would begin after my first track meet.
I’d given myself a shot at b-balling
but man, those coaches kept on stonewalling.
After not making the cut, though
my mind felt dead and was about to blow,
So then I gave the track wave a try
and thought, oh lord, I was about to die.
Even after I was considered too slow,
I told myself I would give it a go
To the point where any improvements would matter
Since they climb straight up, like steps on a ladder.
And that's exactly what happened
I was into it, I felt trapped, and I couldn’t be happier
I made the team somehow
I wasn't so good, but look at me now.
I ran with my thin legs and ate up the dust
Now I run with heart and a whole lot of guts.
Look at me now making all-state,
The key to that success was simple faith.
Obviously going through all the struggles
Is how you get better and learn to hustle
Just to get to the very top.
After all of that effort I’ll never stop.
Yes, freshman year presented some obstacles
But still I soon became virtually unstoppable
Right into sophomore year, where it all began
I’d never imagined each time I ran
I'd become such a serious runner
Who made the local paper over the summer.
My progress was so fast it just seemed crazy
And the records I broke seemed vaguely wavy
Now, even schools in other countries want me.
These are the things that track has taught me.
Track has brought out my inner beast mode
To reveal how well I can compete in the flow.
Once I timed a one-lap in fifty two,
Other teams hated me for that, but hey, I had to.
Making me well-known is what the medals can do.
This is the one thing that I never knew
I’d become famous for in my high school.
I've made huge progress since then, which is cool.
It takes a lot of hard work and dedication
Also consistent mental preparation
In order for me to perform my very best
To go all out and smoke the rest.
It’d take just one trip over a hurdle
Or a fall, turning my knees painful purple.
Mistakes are all just part of the sport,
Mistakes that I’ve learned can hurt you worse
Than the harshest judgments issued in a court.
Sometimes I let the danger sink through my head
But then recall what Michael Jordan once said
There’s no “I” in team, but there is in win
And that’s where my mindset has steadily been.
As my coach never fails to mention,
Victory is always my main intention.
It is crazy that life on the track
Shows there’s never a moment to slack,
But that’s how I learned to become the man
Who takes dubs like a beast, ever since I first ran.
Artwork by Carlos Villarini