Manage episode 356851166 series 3453774
“Ask yourself”, my ninth-grade football coach called through the evening roar of early autumn secadas, “Have I emptied the tank today?”
He’d ask the question with one “gasser” left in the conditioning portion of practice; sun already set, us already spent. The whistle would shrill, and I’d give it everything I had for the next thirty seconds, almost blacking out upon crossing the finish sideline, scared to death at not emptying the tank. Why? Our coach would always ask us afterward, not punitively but curiously, “So, did you really empty the tank today?” I always knew. Some days I had, and the peace was amazing. Other days I hadn’t, and it haunted me, until I vanquished it at the next chance to empty the tank.
It was regret.