I was awful at high school track. Less than a decade later, I give the experience little to no thought. When I was a junior in high school, some of my teammates said I should join the track team and throw shotput with them. It wasn’t the first time people suggested I try another sport, but they told me these practices were easy, and I’d still have time to do the football weightlifting regiments in the offseason.
The first year of track was uneventful. I threw JV shotput, occasionally ran the 55-meter dash, and took none of it seriously. We didn’t have a shotput coach, but my highlight of the season was taking bronze in JV shotput at the Atlantic Coast League all-league meet. There were only four competitors, and some kids on my team that threw further than me on JV didn’t show up. The other two that beat me were on my team, and the only one I defeated was two years younger and one of the worst throwers in the league. I got a cheap plastic medal for my achievement—which I broke at school the next day because I kept swinging it around and bragging about my achievement. Served me right.
The following season was even less memorable. There’s no reason why I should have done track as a senior. On Saturday, December 6, 2014, I won a high school football state championship; I played at Gillette Stadium, capping off a season where I finally contributed to the varsity team after spending nearly a year learning how to long-snap.
I skipped school the following Monday, but on Tuesday, I was back at high school track practice getting ready to throw JV shotput as a senior. I eventually realized it was a waste of my time. I quit so I could pursue low-paying writing gigs online since I knew I wanted to pursue journalism, and being a subpar JV shot putter wasn’t necessary for that goal. Writing garbage for content mills for $4 to $10 per article was a better use of my time than throwing a metal ball and running around in short shorts.
However, before giving it up, I competed in one meet. I threw shotput and did the JV 55-meter dash as a joke. I did poorly (7.73 seconds) in the 55-meter dash, but my time was better than the fastest girl at the meet (7.88 seconds). That was the case even though I never trained to run the 55-meter dash, ran the race in beat-up sneakers rather than track spikes, and wasted energy sprinting the warmup lap at the facility to be a jackass.
It’s more difficult to say how I would’ve fared on the girls’ side of shotput for two reasons. The boys use a 12-pound ball, while the girls use a four-kilogram (8.8-pound). But my standing throw was about 26 feet 2 inches, which is terrible. Perhaps a glide would’ve added a few feet. Even without the glide and using a ball that was 3.2 pounds heavier, I would’ve had a ninth-place finish out of 26 competitors on the girls' side of the varsity meet. If I’d thrown a lighter ball and had taken a glide step, I think I would’ve been a solid girls' shot putter.
Boys have an athletic edge over girls. I was never a gifted athlete and not good enough for varsity indoor track, even as a senior. If this advantage were non-existent, every high school could be mixed-gender for every sport, and an equal number of boys and girls would be among the top performers. That won’t happen, and most people understand it’s a ridiculous premise. If you have XY chromosomes, you likely have an advantage in sports over those with XX chromosomes. People who say otherwise are misinformed or lying to advance an ideological agenda.