Two years ago when I was 13, I ran in National racing for handicapped people. We drove all the way up to Orlando, Florida from Baton Rouge, because my dad is afraid of airplanes. It took an extremely long time to get to our hotel, but when we got there we discovered that it was filled with people on wheel chairs and crutches. After we got checked in and had spent the night, we woke up to discover a massive array of the best free breakfast food I had ever seen. When we finished eating a massive amount of food, we went over to another building to get signed up. At this moment I was slightly anxious, in my past experiences with racing like this, there was no one I could relate too, would I have some one to talk to? Be friends with? Can I win the races? All of these questions were going through my mind. As I wondered around amongst a bunch of annoying people they finally called my name and I went to get signed in.
When I got in the other part of the building they gave me a number on this sheet of paper with the sponsors logo on it, and they went further back in the building to classify me into one of the disability levels they have. I don’t really remember what my class was, but I do remember the ways they tested you. First they did some mental test they consisted of things like putting to blocks on the table (one blue one red) and you have to decide which one was red, which I might add was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. Next they tried to see how far you can throw a base ball and a club. So this really lady stands about 10 feet in front of me, assuming I was mentally “special” and couldn’t throw a ball, and says “come on Jacob through the ball as far as you can.” She continued to assume things about me and I was starting to lose my temper with this, and she was blocking my way to throw the ball ( she deduced that none of the handicap people could throw it 10 feet.) So I decided throw it as hard as I could, even though she was in the way, I hit her in the head with a baseball, To me, I think she learned not to make quick assumptions about people.
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When I finished signing in, I went back to the hotel to get something to eat, and the food was amazing. I went to bed fairly early, because I didn’t really know what to expect or, if any of the competitors would be anything like me, but I wasn’t too worried about it, I have a way of not panicking even when I should be. I woke up early the next morning and got ready to go run. I ate a good breakfast of eggs, yogurt, milk, and bacon and started doing some push-ups. After that, I got in the car with my dad, who was really excited that I got to go to nationals he’s the competitor in the family , my mom, who just wanted me to have fun, and my brother, who was playing video games and didn’t care. So together as a family headed we down to the field to sing the National Anthem, get my official racing number, and wait for my events to start.
When the races finally started I was in, 7 events, baseball throw, discuss, club, 100m , 20m, 60m, 200m, long jump. First they did the base ball which I won easily because the other people only threw it 6 feet. Then discuss came with the same situation. Finally the running came. It started with the 20m which is so short of a race that it was just a waste of time, although I did win. Then came the 60m, which was also really short but again I won without much trouble. Finally it got to the 100 and 200m and it was actually kind of a race, for those who don’t know, 200m is a really long race for a physical handicap race. I won all of the races and got this cool little wooden plague with gold plates on the side, one for each event I won/
Through all of this I’d say I learned 2 lessons, don’t make assumptions about people. To me this is a valuable lesson because people make assumptions about me all the time, such as when people call me “special” when I go to the movie theater. All of my experiences, especially this one have led me to the belief of not to make assumptions about people even if it seems obvious.