Tuesday, May 22, 2012
My feet move up and down, the people around me whisper and nervously laugh. I bend down to stretch, my chest pounding, my heart in my throat.
I glance at my watch. One minute. One minute. The butterflies in my stomach flutter, and tell myself to start off slow, to do my best. The horn sounds, and the men in front of me shoot off, the group of girls do too. I tell myself they won't stay in the lead the entire time, and I'm right. Our feet pound on the pavement and we're off, flying.
At first I feel glorious. I feel free, I feel as if I could run forever. I pass people, pass the girls in front of me who are now walking. My heart soars, my legs fly. I talk to people next to me, joking about how much I hate the hill in front of me, asking them if this is their first race.
And then it's the last mile. My legs are barely turning over, it's hard to breathe. I'm inhaling heavily and my heart is thudding. My throat goes dry, I need water. I tell myself just a little longer, just a little longer. Hurry and it will be over with. A hill looms in front of me, taunting me. Then I ask myself why on earth I run, why on earth I would ever want to do such a thing. I want to walk. I want to stop. But I press on. I recite verses. Sing songs in my head. Talk to myself. Anything to keep my mind of running. Anything to keep my mind off the hill.
At last I reach the top. The finish line is in front of me. People are all around, cheering. A last surge of energy shoots through me. My pace picks up, my legs are flying again, so tired, but still moving forward. I pass the finish line. I laugh, I have reached the end! Sweat pours down my face, I am panting like a dog, I am tired, but I finished. My brothers are around, patting my back, telling me how good I did. I ask them what their times were, and we laugh together.
I forget about the hill, I forget about the pain. At that moment it is only joy and accomplishment I feel. The challenge was worth it.
(thanks to my mom for taking the pictures)