The sun beat down, like a blanket of heat. An
amalgam of emotions set in, excitement and anxiety; so did the imminence
of the hurdles. Everyone staggered into line, a mob waiting to meet the
obstacles. The gleaming metal of the hurdles calling my name, urging me
to try them, to challenge myself.
The intimidating task remained undone, so runners began to tackle them.
Some efforts were futile, leaving a foot too low, tripping over them.
Crash, bang, clang. Some runners were auspiciously soaring over the
obstacles. It was a feat yet unknown, yet thrilling. Too soon, a voice
called, “Who’s up next?” It was now or never.
“I will go,” I proclaimed apprehensively, staring at the hurdles, ready
to face my metal opponent. All eyes were on me, adding weight to my
shoulders, pushing me to succeed.
My legs were ahead of my mind, lurching forward into a sprint. Swinging
from side to side, my hair was a mess. But that didn’t stop me. Every
muscle in my body strained to jump, to clear the nefarious hurdle.
Innumerable doubts entered my mind. Did I have the right technique? Was
I supposed to lead with my right leg? Or my left? Do I spring up high?
Or stay consistent? What if all my efforts were futile? The hurdle
getting closer and closer with every step, I felt pent up with energy
waiting to be put into use. Jumping, I extended my right leg powerfully,
bounding over the metal barrier. My left leg trailed behind, following
the lead of my previous efforts–reaching the apex of the jump. I began
to lose height. Hitting the ground sprinting, I already was mentally
prepared for the next ones. I sprang up more confidently, having the
experience of already clearing one. Gathering all of the energy I had
left, legs sprinting, arms pumping, I sprang up with force. I sailed
over the last hurdle, breaking the chains of doubt and second-guessing.
Friends cheering, joyfully awaiting their own attempts, I ran off to get
back in line. All of us runners attempted the daunting task, trying
The hurdles were something new, exciting, and a bit of a menace at
first. As time went on, attempt after attempt, the hurdles tipped over,
were jumped over, and fallen on. Everyone was trying new things, pushing
their boundaries, their own hurdles. It gave us confidence and thrills;
many of us persevering to accomplish the challenge. The air began to
cool, the sun’s rays began to retreat. We felt the atmosphere calm and
so we did too. Glancing over our shoulders, we walked into the building,
leaving the hurdles behind.