Douglas dashing back to form


Victoria Colon

Nathan Douglas rounds the curve and prepares to hit the straight away

“At that point your legs are dead. You’re tired. Everything is starting to sink in….you can’t stop before the line,” said Nathan Douglas, a senior on the track and field team.

Douglas, who competes in the 400-meter, 400-meter relays, the 200-meter and an occasional appearance in the high jump, does not mind the suffering it takes to reach the finish line considering this year is the first time he has been able to experience it since high school.

As a first-year student, Douglas did not try out for the team. The following year, as he was gearing up to start his first season, the pandemic stopped athletes in their tracks, impeding any opportunities for a spring season.

With hopes of normalcy approaching last year, Nathan’s shot at running would have to wait another year as he received a diagnosis that most athletes could not conjure up in their worst nightmare — a torn ACL and meniscus — requiring surgery, time on crutches and a challenging physical therapy routine.

“It kind of sucked,” said Douglas when asked about his recovery time. Besides not being able to train for his events, he was unable to play basketball — something he enjoys doing outside of his time on the track.

“It was the first time in my life without playing basketball or even doing any type of physical activities for that long. I was just so bored some days,” said Douglas.

His return to the track on March 26 for the first time in four years was nothing short of a breath of fresh air. Competing for less than three minutes in a day full of events at a meet, Douglas fills his time by preparing for his events and supporting the other Hawks on the track.

Along with stretching and warming up before he hits the blocks, Douglas uses his time to prepare by shuffling through his J. Cole playlist and listening to “Intro” by G Herbo before each race — a source of familiarity as he combats his pre-race jitters that manifest through an uneasy stomach and sweating.

“I get nervous pretty bad,” said Douglas, pointing to his first race after his injury earlier this season. “It was the first race after I had been hurt. I didn’t know if I was going to get hurt again.”

As soon as he gets situated on the starting block, his nerves around injury and starting slow and beating his goal time dissipate as he turns his focus to the one-lap sprint around the track.

Racing slower than he was before sustaining the serious knee injury, Nathan’s focus is on returning his performance back to his times before the injury within the upcoming meets.

“I’ve been trying to do speed workouts here and there throughout the week before practices,” said Douglas. These workouts start with sprinting 150 meters, 100 meters and 50 meters all out, one after another.

Through the four meets, the Hawks have had this season, Douglas has placed second in the 400-meter dash twice.

“I missed running. I missed running in the meets and missed being a part of a team. It’s been fun; it’s been a nice experience,” said Douglas.