By: Romesha Ensley
After being on the road for 32 hours we finally arrived in Reno, Nevada. It was New Year’s Eve and we watched the ball drop on the screen of the casino where we parked. We stayed in the van until was check-in time.
In the morning the nine of us went to the room, got dressed, and ready to workout. We were all in a good mood, but this quickly changed.
We began to warm up, doing things we normally did like shadow boxing and jumping jacks then it was time for a run. We were used to running because that’s a normal cardio workout for anyone who’s in shape. We began to run, but the altitude tested how in shape we were.
The ones on our team who had already done this before, and had been at this tournament before knew how it was. They knew how to react. Us new ones were the ones who had the problems. Me especially. It was very stressful. The last word I would use to describe this trip is “easy.”
When I began to run, I was feeling fine, then my coach turned up the treadmill to 12. I was sprinting super fast for 35-seconds. I was still feeling okay until it was time to sprint again. That’s when I started to feel the effects of the altitude and thinner air.
My chest began to burn, my nose began to burn, my legs were hurting, and I was tired. I couldn’t take a deep breath because of how tired I was. My nose began to bleed; I began to cough up mucus as I was cleaning my nose up from bleeding. But, as soon as I was cleaned up, I had to get back on the treadmill. I was running faster than I ever ran. I didn’t even know treadmills went past nine, let alone all the way up to 12.
When I got back on the treadmill I was crying, but my coach didn’t care. He was yelling, telling me to keep going and I’d be okay. I kept stopping and taking my feet off of the treadmill. This made my coaches mad. I was quitting; they didn’t condone that.
After crying on the treadmill for 45 minutes, it was finally time to get off, but I wasn’t done. Two of my coaches said they were leaving me with my other coach because he’s my “favorite coach” they thought I would work harder with him so they left.
After a couple days of hard work and crying, over and over, I finally got myself together and “bit down.” It was then finally fight time.