Aline Joyce's Corner

Aline Joyce's Corner's is a personal blog with stories about her personal life and her extra-curriculum activities. She features articles related to youth, youth social inclusion, volunteering, peace building in Rwanda as well as global issues.

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Finishing High School As An Athlete.

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Of course I am not an athlete but I well know the track athletes are probably the most strategic when it comes to executing a game plan. And this is very true when it comes to long distance run.

I am now 2 weeks into my last year as a secondary school student. Crucially, 2014 is gonna be the most important 12 months of my teenage years —if not my whole life. You do not spend 6 long years studying hard and end up trading bananas and avocados on side road or second hand bras in Kimironko busy market. Don't get me wrong though. Youth entrepreuneship is one of the best ways through which the young generation is effectively contributing to Rwanda development. But going into job market and such business opportunities at young age have never been in my mind —let alone setting it as my future ambition.

It is true I did not attend these prestigious and well known schools of Kigali. It is also a fact that I started school slowly as track athletes do— probably I was as slow as a marathon runner — but I always believed in hard work and destiny. This led me to plan each year in a way that I can compete effectively with the best students in the country in the national examination in November. For the last 2 years I am not only relying on my school curriculum but I have incorporate some interesting after school activities and math tutoring. Writing and debating are now part of my daily life. My friends always ask me why I should even waste my time in putting such efforts into English language and writing skills. '' For goodness sake! You are a science student not a language student!'' One said the other day.

Maybe I should have explained to each of them how debating and writing have improved my critical thinking, an important skill in science. I do rarely provide that as answer and it's not because I do not know it is indeed the best but I prefer giving them a more convincing one: ''You know guys, the master plan is to go to university and study aviation engineering'' thats how I often start my explanation telling them loudly as if I was in a debate contest.  '' As a woman pilot you need to be able to communicate efficiently. But even if I do not make it —how do you explain for instance the gravity laws to other people if you can't even talk properly huh?''. I conclude bringing everyone to my side.

Let me get back to the running tactics and strategies —the raison d'être (French again! ) of my today's article. I love watching 1500m and 5000m races and I have realised that the right tactics and strategy can win races. While it is true the athlete's body fitness and endurance will be the ultimate physical determiners of who wins and who loses, the strategic planning is the most important in both races.

In the 5000 m race mostly, it is  important for the runner not run too fast too early. The early high speed leads to muscle tension which in return causes discomfort and rapid exhaustion.  The 1st few laps need to be as evenly paced as possible. In both 1500m and 5000m, there should be a guarded watch for a possible race surge from any competitor.  The body should be positioned off of the outside [right] shoulder of the leader.  A great deal of concentration is needed here to maintain the much needed energy specially on days of strong wind. On such days the trick is to use the race leader to break some of the wind. This can save you an considerable amount of energy before you take control and push for the #1 prize —if you are of course the best runner —despite the weather conditions.

The last two laps of the 1500m and the last 3 of the 5000m are the critical moments of the race and the tempo will increase greatly during this stage as runners prepare their minds and bodies for the fastest lap of the race — the final lap. The runner must be focused and very careful not to be out of position when a serious break or surge is made. The final 200 meters in both races are quite similar as the runners approach the final turn.  It is important at this point to look ahead and not be obstructed by other competitors or even distracted by the noise from the crowd in the stands as the sprint to the finish line emerges.

Enough is said! I am determined to end my secondary school strongly and hoping to become an engineering uni student next year.


Happy new year 2014 to all my readers.



Aline Joyce Berabose is a keen reader and writer. She writes about issues related to youth and peace building. At 17, she has developed interest in blogging and global issues at early age. One of the brightest scholars in science, Multilingual and good communicator, Aline Joyce is involved in several activities including volunteering and debating.