Born to run

´On your marks´
Nervously, I sat my feet in the start block and took a deep breath
`Set´
And the gunshot sounded.
I ran as fast as I could, if I failed – let me put it like this, I’d rather walk home.
´C’mon Kell’s run for Christ sake! C’mon´ I heard him cheering or I wouldn’t call it that. More like a commando.
And I passed the finish line clocking 31.2 seconds I was happy but I sure quickly learned that it was a disaster. My dad yelled at me and humiliated me in front the whole tribune.
´You’re hopeless´ he then said I burst into tears and ran away as fast as I could.

Kelly Thompson lives in Sheffield, England. She has been doing athletic since the day she took her very first steps or her dad forced her to. He wants his daughter to be the very best athlete Britain has ever seen. Kelly was basically just born to run.

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1. Born to run

Chapter 1

I swung my back over my shoulder as I headed off to the red floor. The track. The stadium. My dad forced me to go, he always does and even on the weekends. It was just terrible I’d rather play with my dolls or have a nice traditional tea party with the girls – it usually ends up with a huge fight, but what to do? We’re girls.

This whole athletic thing was unfair, like totally unfair. I hated it.

´Ready? Today you have to do your very best. Then we’ll have a change for a medal. ´ The last part was just a whisper. I had to a 200m – we’d practiced it a lot my dad and me. I found my kit and went out on the track. I felt warm and had a feeling that I’ll probably vomit. I was in lane 2 it did not bother me but my dad he was furious. But there was nothing we could do.

´On your marks´

Nervously, I sat my feet in the start block and took a deep breath

`Set´

And the gunshot sounded.

I ran as fast as I could, if I failed – let me put it like this, I’d rather walk home.

´C’mon Kell’s run for Christ sake! C’mon´ I heard him cheering or I wouldn’t call it that. More like a commando.

And I passed the finish line clocking 31.2 seconds I was happy but I sure quickly learned that it was a disaster. My dad yelled at me and humiliated me in front the whole tribune.

´You’re hopeless´ he then said I burst into tears and ran away as fast as I could.

 

Today, 31.2 seconds is nothing it’s a piece of cake. Through the years I grew wiser, stronger and much faster. My dads’ last words at the race still echoing in my head, since that day I’ve always tried to prove him wrong. I started to willingly go with him to the stadium in the Sundays but I did never enjoy it, until the day I got my personal coach Mick Smith I’ve worked with him for 10 years now – for ten years he has been the only person whom could drag me ‘round that track. He understood my situation and found my dad particular annoying and bad support as well, but we’ll never tell him he was a good coach but sometimes Mick reminds of dad the shouting and unsatisfied it scared me a lot and I went home crying. I cried a lot in my early teens I sadly became the victim of school bullies – they joked about my size and said I looked like a boy because I had loads of muscles and small. I'll probably stay small and muscular forever. 

 

´Kelly where the hell have you been? ´

´Sorry man, been busy ´

´What a lame excuse, where’s your kit? ´

´I got it man don’t worry´

I could feel Mick’s getting angrier and angrier something bothered him. He was never so violently, I got my spikes and went over to the 200m marks and started off.

´ On the one. Three, two, one´ he shouted

I was breathless, when I passed the finish line, Micks face told me everything it was a bad time.

He looked at me it made me shout

´ I got more´

´Then stop wasting your breath and come back do it again´

That was unexpected. It was stupid of me basically because I was cracked and totally out of breath. I went back and gave it another try clocking a more awful time.

´Kelly come here, need to talk to ya ´

He was dead serious, I could hear it in his voice I slowly faced him and responded

´  What’s up´

´Your time Kelly was awful´ he shouted

that shocked me but I stayed calm

´ I know but it’s your job to coach me, so I can get better ´

´You are better than you think, man you just need to believe that you got the strength´

I smiled Mick was a good man with an intense passion for athletic but I wasn’t quite sure what he meant something was on his mind.

He sighed and said

´You’ve got one chance left to qualify to the World Youth championship. I want you clocking under ´

´26 ´ I interrupted

Mick was worried, he really did believe that I could qualify, that man is nonsense.

Thinking of the World Youth championships and qualifying made me very nervous it means incredible much to me and I know it means more to my dad though. If I’d let him down I’ll just be his hopeless little girl. And I wont let it happen.

The World Youth championship is taking place in Sherbrooke, Canada and Mick and I have been training so hard. And with the pressure from my dad I was preparing myself physically as well as mentally.

But before thinking of a competition abroad I just needed to qualify. Unfortunately I had to wait a few more days meanwhile I focused on College. My dad thought it was a great idea to study health and sports injuries I agreed to do that as it sounded quite interesting, but I didn’t took it too serious though. It wasn’t important because I was born to run he said, it was tough to have such high expectations especially from my dad, my mum was proud of me but I guess I always had her opinions and support go through without further notice. I barely talked to her but I knew she’d be there, not matter what.

´Hi honey how was training? ´My mum asked when I came home

´Good. ´I said and went upstairs.

I threw my kit on the bed there was already lots of clothes and unnecessary stuff that filled the bed but I didn’t care. What I did care about right now was my favourite top missing. It was on the bed when I’d left. I thought for a minute or two. Tara.

´Tara! ´ I screamed from the top of my lungs. 

Tara’s my sister and when life couldn’t be more screwed up she was usually the one who could fix it. I hated her and she nicked my stuff. Once again I crossed the corridor and blasted through the door.

´Tara where’s my top! ´ I asked angrily 

`I don’t know I’m not your mum am I´

I rushed over to her wardrobe and went looking for it but it wasn’t there it pissed me off.

´We’re not done yet ´ I said and slammed the door behind me.

 

Like I said Tara and I hate each other and we’re both very stubborn and flippant. We argue and fight and once she nearly broke my arm, my dad granted her because she sat my whole athletic ‘career’ in danger. I thought it would be a nice break so I kind of thanked her.

Tara’s the type of girl who ditches school and hangs out with the wrong gang. She likes parties a lot well we’re just two very different people who lives under the same roof and it got its complications.

´Kell’s I’ve talked to the officials in Canada. They’ve given me the permission to be in the combined events room with Mick while you get ready and things. Lovely innit? ´ My dad said when I met him in the corridor.

No not at all but I know I’ll never have the courage to tell him, I just nod and smiled.

There was no doubt that he believed I’ll qualify and having my dad so close during a competition will probably end up being quite horrible, there’s no way I’m going to be in the same room with him before a race. I went to bed with another lump of pressure if I’d not qualify my life would officially be over. 

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