Posts Tagged ‘Riverhead’

A new Riverhead walker

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This is Nina Schlosberg and Rachel Harrison, two girls from the high school I went to, finishing a race. 

I love the creativity racewalking (and running) has always inspired in me. I feel as though I get my best story and character ideas from the challenge of it, as I push myself to the brink and wander off into my very own little world. Perhaps its the endorphins; I’m not quite sure, but either way, I love it.

My latest idea- to turn my journal from my junior and senior years of high school into young adult fiction. See, my life those years was… well… not the best, to say the least. Actually, I’d go as far to say that it was outright hellish. Senior year of high school, which is supposed to be one  of the best years of your life, was the uncontested worst.

Even though I graduated as salutatorian, even though I held the school record for racewalking (destroying the previous one by forty seconds), even though I was also considered one of the top five runners and overall best athletes on the track team, even though I was actually picked first often in gym class (for ability, definitely NOT for popularity- in fact, everyone except an EXTREMELY small number of people hated me), even though I knew I was getting a full scholarship for three different colleges, whichever I decided on, I wanted to die. I wasn’t eating right, Iwas involved in a lot of self-destruction, and I was suicidal. There were several times where I found myself picking up a knife or a bottle of pills thinking how easy it would be to slit my own throat, take the whole bottle and sleep forever, or other such terrible things, and how happy everyone would be if I were dead. 

I wonder how many people in Riverhead High School who see me as merely a name of history, merely a name on the board showing the valedictorian and salutatorian of each year, merely a name on a track record board, imagined me as anything other than some teen dream. How many thought there was any chance I was that kid everyone hated, a total loser? I was anything BUT the success story, even if the presence of my name on the wall belied that. More a teen nightmare. I would have happily given up both the salutatorian status AND the school record merely for some self-esteem, a sense of purpose, a sense of worth. 

I’m glad to say I don’t remember thinking of suicide since high school. There are three, possibly four or five people (Brittany, Bethany, Cindy, Trish and Tess) who sustaining without realizing it, and now I’m not merely surviving with life support, I’m LIVING. I’m racewalking and not destroying myself, I’m in various cubs and actually have a sense of belonging. Stony Brook’s BASIC (Brothers and Sisters in Christ), Queen College’s STAND (my first semester) and then Circle K and Environmental Club, give me the sense of purpose and sense of worth of which I was so desperately deprived in high school.

I’m not going to simply copy and paste. No, it needs updating. IPads did not exist when I was in high school, for example, and the big trends were prep, goth, punk, emo, and gangsta, not the remnants of scene, hipster, cool nerd, and the various other labels of the now. 

I’m also going to change the names I used into pseudonyms, for I know for a fact that some of the people in there in a very negative light changed for the better. One of those people, a definite “frenemy” in high school, is one of my very best friends now.

Also, if I end up working in Riverhead Free Library (the best work environment I’d ever experienced; only Stony Brook University comes anywhere near it of the places I’ve worked thus far), I want to start a racewalking club in Riverhead or somewhere on the East End. I need to get coaching training, obviously, and find out exactly how to start a club, but Eastern Suffolk NEEDS something- Walk USA is the reason many western Suffolk girls are so good. I NEVER had anything like Walk USA, and while my coach was extremely encouraging, they don’t know the sport like Gary Westerfield or Michael Roth, the ones who did Walk USA when i was in high school. 

Anyhow, the purpose of taking such a depressing journal and turning it into a book? To help others. Though the ending is not perfect- I still struggle with depression sometimes, I still smile the fake smile sometimes or withdraw from my friends- it’s certainly much, much happier. Definitely NOT near-suicidal anymore.

(Though no, I am NOT going to my high school reunion. I still don’t want to. I don’t think I’ll ever want to. I never want to see those bullying people who tortured me and made my life hell from kindergarten to twelfth grade again. I still bear the scars. I still bear the old wounds, and they still instill doubt even now, a small number of years later.)

To end on a happier note, DID THIS FASTER THAN LAST TIME I DID THREE MILES =D 32:07. BAM. I want to make those high school times look bad for my standards. Not quite beating my high school self yet, but I think i’m nearly on the same level- despite being twenty-five, thirty pounds heavier. I can’t wait to see how fast I am when some of that weight goes away =D