Mainstream sports fans know little of track and field. It’s a sport that captivates audiences every 4 years at the Olympics, only to return to obscurity shortly thereafter. The sport has been shrouded in controversy related to performance enhancing drugs in the same way as Major league baseball. Sprint events, generally the most popular amongst fans, have lost legitimacy due to top performers testing positive for banned substances. Ben Johnson, Tim Montgomery, Justin Gatlin, and Marion Jones all had their medals or records stripped due to doping. Fortunately though, athletes who dope are the exception, not the rule. The most recent example is Usain Bolt, who burst onto the scene with world record performances (and quite possibly the best name for a sprinter, ever) in the Beijing Olympics, which he significantly bettered at the 2009 World Championships. This wasn’t his first impressive feat on the track, but most people didn’t know who he was until a few months before the Olympics. His obliteration of the 100m record generated interest worldwide.

Of all the events in track and field, I was lucky enough to pick up discus. I didn’t like it at first, spinning and throwing felt so foreign to me. What kept me interested was the fact that I was so bad at it. Never in my life had I felt so frustrated with my inability to learn something. It’s not that I’m a natural at everything I try, far from it, but when it came to discus I felt completely incompetent. The feeling of being terrible kept my interest and forced me to devote much of my effort into improving.

Discus is an addiction. It’s an event that demands great attention to detail, similar to a golf swing as Mac Wilkins once put it. You approach it with the same purpose as a golfer using a driver at the range. Throw it as far as you can and keep it within a reasonable boundary.

The goofy one in the fresh kicks and orange jersey