Coach Me - Shanora Williams


Falling in love is like being diagnosed with an incurable disease. It’s inevitable and unexpected.

The kind of love you find when you fall is raw and can feel so very real. It breathes, moves, and thrives inside every single nerve and organ in your body.

Some would say falling in love is an amazing feeling—one that you never want to let slip through your fingers. You feel as if you are with your soulmate and everything wrong in the world has just become right.

Well, I can say this story is about soulmates—two people who fall for each other, even whilst knowing that they won’t be able to hold on forever. They know the risks, enjoy the thrill of it, but refuse to let go because they feel like they can’t breathe without one another.

Soon, they’ll realize that they must part ways one day—that the world is unjust, and that sometimes, love comes knocking at the wrong damn time.

They’ll try to let go, and they’ll hurt, and soon they will discover that trying to fall out of love will be the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do in their fucking life…but they’ll try doing it anyway.


I remember having only two dreams when I was a little girl.

Become the fastest female track runner in my state

Marry “the fastest man alive” - Usain Bolt

I’m pretty sure number two is off the table for me now, since Usain now has a girlfriend and a child with her. Not only that, but he’s much older than me—not that age really matters to me all that much. I still would have been happy to be with the fastest man alive just for the sake of it.

I’m not the type to interrupt anyone’s happily-ever-after. Usain and his girlfriend seem very much in love, and have started a family, so I suppose that second dream was never meant to happen, and you know what? That’s totally fine. I came to terms with that weeks ago.

Though I still love Usain Bolt and would probably bawl my eyes out if I ever met him, probably even cling to one of his long brown legs like a baby monkey, I know that he is happy with his girlfriend, and everyone deserves happiness.

So, that only leaves me with one dream, and that’s to be the fastest female track runner in the state of North Carolina. Well, I’m proud to say that I have lived up to that dream. I have entered many competitions and I was even included in articles and local magazines. Yep. Treated like a local phenomenon.

Anyone I race, I beat.

I’m fast, really fast, and I don’t say that to brag. It’s the truth.

I started running track when I was five years old. My father was a track coach for a private league. I remember waking up with him at crazy early hours on Saturday mornings. He’d pack three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (one for me and two for him) and I’d ride with him to the track.

We’d be the first to get there, always an hour before the athletes and other coaches arrived for Saturday morning practices, and while we waited, he’d show me the fundamentals of running.

As I got the hang of it, he’d set me up at the starting line, pick up his stop watch, and shout, “Go!”

He never had a destination stop for me on the track when I was younger. I suppose he wanted to see how far I could go and how long I could run without getting tired.

By the time I was eight, my dad determined I would be a good fit for 100 to 200-meter sprints, though he’d always called me an all-purpose runner, meaning I could run in any kind of race and do well.

I won’t go into the deeper details of it, but a 200-meter race is that sweet spot between a longer sprint race and a shorter sprint. The 200-meter races are some of the best races to watch, especially in the Olympics…at least I think they are. They’re quick, intense, and thrilling. Maybe I’m biased.

This was what my dad put me in. He trained me, worked hard with me, and even though he wasn’t always patient at times, he was persistent. He never gave up on me.

And now…I know I can’t give up on him.

My dad died when I was thirteen years old. Big car accident. Too much rain. Slippery roads. He didn’t survive. That was six years ago, but it still feels like yesterday.

When he passed, I