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Getting Ahead with Track Fridays

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Getting Ahead with Track Fridays

Coaches - Joseph and Natoyah Swift

Coaches - Joseph and Natoyah Swift

Coaches - Joseph and Natoyah Swift

Coaches - Joseph and Natoyah Swift

Faith Henry, Reporter

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The track team funnels into the weight room wearing workout gear and their game faces. Track season hasn’t even began yet, considered a spring sport to some, a year-round sport to the most devoted, and yet there they are, prepared to begin a workout that will most certainly stretch them to their limits and beyond, and one of which will give them constant pangs of reminders for the next few days in the form of tight muscles and aching limbs. Their workout is on the big whiteboard in the back of the room, hung between the rows of stacked dumbbells and working as a divider between what some can and cannot lift—at least for the time being. And without another moment of delay, the athletes get to it.

Track Fridays are a weekly workout session based around preparing for the closing in track season, and their main objective is to brace the athletes for the oncoming conditions they will have to adapt to during this time. They train to endure the worst so that they may arise at their best, and the friendly competition is high, each training and working to be better than the other. Each has a different goal in mind, but they all have a common goal: to better themselves, because the only competition they will truly be receiving is against themselves and the limits their body has set for them. The impeccable coaching team of Joseph and Natoyah Swift, also known to her athletes as “Mama Swift,” drill this into their athletes, telling them time and time again that the easiest thing to do is quit, but that quitting is for the weak.

Mama Swift, a prominent coach in track and field and the ultimate motivator, was asked a few questions about the track team and why they started so early when the track season was always so far away. She readily agreed and said, “We want to avoid as much injury as possible. Some people come into track after months from just off the couch, and this makes them more susceptible to getting hurt. We want to prevent this as much as possible, and by starting off so early in the year, it gives athlete’s bodies time to get back in shape and ready to perform at their best.” She and Coach Swift, another highly capable and passionate leader, conduct Track Fridays with the utmost care, ensuring their athletes constantly try to better themselves while doing exercises correctly and the way they are meant to be done. Though it is a difficult journey to get back on the road to being in shape after a long summer of  laziness and ceasing responsibilities, these two coaches are clearly up to the job and ready to help any athlete become their best, so long as they wish to do so.

After a long day of hard fighting and endurance, the athletes are on their way home, tired but feeling equally accomplished at the feats they’ve accomplished, more so than the ones they’d accomplished just a week earlier. They grow wearier with every rep, only to arise capable of completing the same exercise faster and with more weights than before. However, the attendance is slim, including only the most loyal and devoted students. Mama Swift knows attendance for the track team conditioning once the season starts will be much higher, but that isn’t a very good thing. She says, “The best form of advertising is word of mouth. It’s telling your friends about the benefits this program has reaped on you. Word of mouth is the best way to get Track Friday around.” Until then, Track Friday remains open to whoever wishes to build their strength in preparation for another excellent track Season. Heart pounding in chest, muscles straining with exhaustion, the strongest continue to build themselves up, waiting for others to see just the opportunity they have and wondering whether they have the sense to grab it by the throat and not let go.

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