Piece starts out with Moussa talking about how in 9th grade he was devastated to not be selected for the rising mile at Arcadia and how he whipped off a bunch of emails to the meet director as a result.
He said he dreamed of jumping the fence and hopping in the race to run it.
The summer before my senior year started, the Arcadia High track was resurfaced and the stadium renovated. One day after summer practice, I snuck past the construction, jumped a fence, and wandered onto the new track.
On race day I stood on the fence against the track, with my spikes and singlet in hand, trying to muster up the courage to jump the fence and run towards the starting line and crash the race. Needless to say, I didn’t do it, and I sat there in miserable silence watching the race.
Fast forward to summer before his senior year, he did jump the frence and hop on it.
I only wish the piece included talk of what the race senior year - when he did win the 3200 - was like. He talks about how he dreamed of it but never mentiones if the reality was close the the dream.
The lanes hadn’t even been painted on yet. The track was bouncy and still hadn’t been broken in. It glowed as the sun was setting, and just looked like it was on fire.
Sure, it sounds cliché, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I took a slow lap around the track, visualizing the race that I would be racing in eight months’ time.