The Race
Courtney. Age 13. PA

When I stand at that line brightly colored and holding me back I feel exhilarated. I feel scared. I feel joyous. I feel ready. And all at once the emotions pervade me, like a deathly sickness in a small community. As I inhale deeply I can hear the huffing and puffing of nervous runners imminent to start and I realize I am doing the same. The man raises his pistol and bellows the commands to the runners, all waiting anxiously at the line. All of the sudden, the man pulls the trigger, and orders us to begin the 1.8 mile journey. Quickly, I start, and pump my arms in both envy and excitement.

As I begin conquering the first large hill that begins almost immediately, I can conclude that this terrain is quite threatening and it is going to be hard to get past some of the difficult obstacles. But, my eager feet dig into the soft ground with passion and drive to finish the race proudly. People along the sides are roaring, cacophonously; however, I admire them, and am thankful that I have them here to encourage me. And suddenly, I have entered the woods. Everything becomes silent and cool, and all I can faintly hear is the myriad people around me taking in deep breaths to get through the race. I run fast and make sure that all of my movements are accurately used so I can procure a good time for my race. But I easily become intimidated. The hills that I am predicted to vanquish are incredibly tall and menacing, making me consider giving in due to their hostile appeal. Pumping my arms quickly, I am determined to get to the brightly colored line once again.

My brain is my enemy. Although it plagues me with doubtful thoughts, I know I have to continue on with what I have begun. Since it is so easy to give in, I know I could. But I cant. I cant. I have to finish. No matter the circumstances. I gracefully swing my feet back and forth, my bright blue shoes pounding the earth, and casually move forward with each individual step. Fatigue keeps trying to bother me, but I push it aside and run harder. And then, there it is. The brightly colored line has made itself visible; its calling my name mellifluously, inspiring me to conclude on a positive note. Kicking in my initial instinct, I run like never before. I pump my arms, huff and puff, stride my legs, and open my eyes and then, Im there. When I cross that line brightly colored I feel exhilarated, I feel joyous. I feel scared. I feel ready, and all at once I feel. And I know that in my head I have won.

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