Athletics (track&field) took up a large part of my life for over eighteen years. I started in 1987, at age 10, and stopped all trainings in early 2006.
My athletics performances as a kid are probably best forgotten. It was only in 1994 that I actually started actively competing in the races, rather than merely lagging behind; and discovered that I was most skilled in the shorter sprints.
My performances in the early months of the 1995 season brought me closer to the top performers in the country at that time, and I found myself in the group training for the 4x100m relay at the Games of the Small States of Europe. I didn't make it into the race team, but had only narrowly missed it; which gave a considerable boost to my motivation.
In 1996, I switched to doing all my trainings with Marc Dollendorf, and was gradually improving my strength and sprint endurance. I broke the 11" barrier on the 100m by doing 10"90 at the National Championships in July; surprising everyone and taking home the Silver medal. By 1997, I was training six times a week. I spent a week in Iceland at the Games of the Small States of Europe, and participated in a second place on the 4x100m relay. My 200m wasn't so lucky, I finished in a thankless fourth place. In early 1998, I managed to break the Luxembourgish National Record on the 200m Indoor, and would hold it for the next three years. That year in summer, I also ran my personal best times on the 100m and 200m, 10"85 and 21"58, respectively.
Summer 2000 was going to be my best season yet when I injured my achilles tendon in April 2000. I kept on pushing, running 21"72 with a fissure in the left tendon, but by July I could barely walk anymore. Taking time off didn't help, so in October 2000 I underwent surgery.
After the operation, and a difficult recovery process in 2001, my 2002 bests on the 100m and 200m were 10"97 and 22"01 respectively. Starting in September 2002, I was able to train five times a week again. At the first indoor track&field meeting in Luxembourg on January 12th 2003, I ran the 200m in 22"01 and the 60m in 7"10. I didn't manage to better the 60m time at any subsequent meeting, but finally broke the 22 seconds barrier on the 200m three weeks later, running 21"92.
I participated at the GSSE 2003 in Malta, but was once again slowed down by injuries - this time by the two achilles tendons giving me trouble. After returning from Malta, I decided to take it slower... I mostly kept in shape throughout the winter, and in May 2004 figured I'd take the chance and compete again. While my 2004 bests (11"18 and 22"44) were above what I had previously been competing at, was glad that I could still compete, and that I was able to join the national team on selections that took me to France and Iceland.
2005 didn't start very well - during the winter season and early spring I had four injuries of varying intensity, and had to be very careful in the planning of my trainings. I still tried my best to run the (indoor) 22"20 required to qualify for the Games of the Small States of Europe in Andorra, but was about 2/10 of a second too slow. Nevertheless, I was part of the 4x100m that did 41"93 at the beginning of the season, and as such qualified to go to GSSE in early June. In Andorra, we did 41"22 in the series and 41"32 in the finals, and we came home with a Silver medal.
In late June, after a busy (100m, 200m, 4x100m) weekend at the European Cup Bruno Zauli, my 2005 season was pretty much over, owing to more achilles tendon trouble. I paused for two months, then spent the next few months becoming a regular customer at both the sports doctor and physiotherapy. Initially, this was succesful enough to enable me to restart trainings at the end of September, but unfortunately the pain in the right foot returned, and in early December 2005 I had exhausted all options and had no other choice than to give up on track trainings.
I decided to put an end to my track&field career in January 2006.