By Alice Boone, Class of 2016
Track and field is more than simply running in circles on a rubber surface. It’s more than throwing heavy projectiles as far as possible. It’s more than winning medals, breaking records, and setting personal bests. It’s even more than attaining the coveted state championship trophy. Track and field is fellowship with teammates and demonstrating the love of Christ to other competitors.
I have made many wonderful memories throughout my competitive years, but one stands out from the rest. Last May, I had the opportunity to compete at the state track meet in Selma, Alabama. Before the preliminary round of the one hundred meter hurdles, I asked my teammate Hope if she would like to pray with me before the start of our race. This is something we did together every meet. It encouraged us and kept our focus on the Lord.
Breaking with our normal routine, I decide on the spot to ask the athletes around us if they would like to join in. At first five girls joined in, then it grew to ten, which quickly grew to fifteen. Pretty soon, we had every competitor in our event circled up to pray. But people kept coming. Competitors sprinted across the track and jumped from the stands to join us. The circle grew wider and wider, and so did my smile. I could not believe that my suggestion to pray with my teammate would have resulted in such enthusiasm from so many athletes. So many people joined, in fact, that the meet officials were forced to delay the current events until we were finished.
Finally, the last athlete had clasped hands with the person beside him, and we all bowed our heads. The stadium was quiet as I yelled out a prayer for all of the athletes competing. I prayed for safety during the meet, joy during competition, and the willingness to offer the glory back to God. I then had the pleasure of leading everyone in the Lord’s Prayer. Afterwards, most everyone was smiling and looked refreshed and encouraged. That experience is more memorable and valuable to me than any medal.