<p>A friend apparently is an addicted reader of this site, and told me I should ask for tips here. Thanks</p>
<p>When I was twelve, I was fast. We all are at twelve, I suppose, but I had runners legs. From birth, they were long, and lean, but best of all they were flexible, which allowed me to glide by other runners by nature. Just before my thirteenth birthday they carried me to finish half-mile in 1:57, which was faster than our High School record by ten seconds. I was *<strong><em>y, too. The only thing that ran faster than my feet was my mouth. A month after turning thirteen I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It really wasnt a big deal, but I had to wear a back brace when I wasnt running or playing basketball. That was a little weird, but was also more incentive to keep running. The day early in March when I needed to see my doctor again, I wanted to run to the appointment, but my mother wouldnt let me, so I rode in the car with her and my father. They were both dressed in black, and I wore my running shorts; facts which in retrospect I find funny. That day I found out that I would need surgery to correct the now-massive ninety-one degree curviture in my spine. The surgery would overlap with track season, so none of my training from the previous offseason would ever be tested beyond that one race: that 1:57.
To be completely honest, I never even considered the effect of the surgery on my running until I told my track coach a week later, and even then I had more pressing concerns. I was resigned to missing that one season, but I knew I could keep working and come back stronger the next year. The full recovery was listed at two years, but I was allowed to run after four months. That was the longest summer I can remember. Two things kept me going: the frighteningly (and, I admit, wonderfully) intense math course that I was taking, and the thought that when I got back, it would make an unbelievable story.
Of course, you know where this story is going already. [My Name], defying all odds. I could see the cover of Time, now, or at least Runners World: Runner Overcomes Surgery, Breaks Records, and Wins Fields Medal. I could see it on that cold day in fall, when I tried my first real workout, and coughed up more blood than I had ever seen, trying to run a measly six miles. I could see it when my first pre-season race was a seven-minute mile. I could see it when the season started up, and my coach didnt know how to treat me. I could see it when school finished for the year, and I hadnt run so much as a 2:20 half-mile.
It wasnt until the following season that I stopped seeing it. I was a Freshman now, and I finally had the chance at that record. I was the fastest one on the distance team despite the surgery, but suddenly I didnt care. The captain of the distance team was a Senior whom I knew well-- and already looked up to because of his obvious mathematical genius-- named Ian (hes at Stanford now, but dont hold it against him). I began slowing my pace to talk to him, and helping teammates with their form. Ian and I discovered that the rods in my back were forcing me to sway from side to side as I rana permanent difficulty that would keep me from ever running a fast enough eight-hundred for my liking. I was less *</em></strong>y that year. I was also more of a teammate. That summer I ran only once or twice per week. But that summer I also took a Physics class and wrote a theory to explain Dark Matter. That summer I knew that Id never be Runner Overcomes Surgery, Breaks Records and Wins Fields Medal again. Well, theres still time on the Fields Medal.</p>