Friday, July 08, 2005

Wasted Youth

Sometime ago, Tym blogged about the National Schools soccer finals that was the last event held at the National Stadium before it got demolished. The impact of it didn't really hit me at that time- that the National Stadium was no more.

Today it did. Reason being I need to drive all the way to Choa Chu Kang Stadium this afternoon for the National Schools Track and Field Championships. I had known that I would have to turn up for Nationals but in my head, the Nationals would be held at the National Stadium, where it was held when I was the one running. When I realised today that it wasn't and I had to find my way into the boondocks of Singapore where chickens fly, I was sad. Of course, there was much annoyance as well, seeing that I had no idea how I was going to get to Choa Chu Kang Stadium. But more than that, I was sad.

The first time I competed at the National Stadium was when I was newly 13. And I was an injured runt having to race against Australian athletes of the same age, but definitely not the same size. I remember, standing at the start line and looking up to the stands, realising how small I was and how awesome it would be if I were to run in front of a packed stadium. That I did many times after and those were the best days of my life.

I was looking forward to walking into the stadium and inhaling the hot fumes of deep heat- a cream rub that soothed and relieved muscle tensions and psychologically, put the butterflies in the tummy at ease. Not only is it true that everyone of us has a visual memory store, we have one tied to smells- olfactory memory and without fail, the smell of deep heat brings me back to those days of racing.

I was also looking forward to walking into the stadium and having to nimbly sidestep runners in various stages of warming up dressed in what would seem ridiculously hot for our weather. Thing is I don't remember being very hot in my warm ups, possibly because nerves cause one to get cold and clammy and the warmth that comes from thet thick warm ups as well as the deep heat works great as security blankets.

So, it looks like I won't be taking a walk down memory lane. Instead I'll be driving to Choa Chu Kang Stadium, a stadium like any other neighbourhood stadium with one set of bleachers and people spilling over on the sides and athletes warming up on the road outside. It'll be like any other track meet and there's no sentimental value in that. It just wouldn't be the same.

What a waste.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 14:17

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