Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Vignette

It was the first time in my life that I was participating in cross country. We were on our way to Seaside, Oregon for the biggest meet of the season. Runners and their coaches flocked to Seaside for the biggest meet of the season. Runners and their coaches flocked to Seaside from Hawaii, California, and Washington. We were to spend the night in oldarmy barracks, and races would take place the following morning. I was anxious, and I continues building up anxiety.
The morning was rushed as everyone ate quick breakfast of juice, power bars, and fruit. We all put our coats on and walked the course. Everything that I was previously worried about faded as new worries arose in my mind. We soon arrived at the mud pit. I would later find that it was so deep, it was up to my waist.
Once we had finished walking the course, we had about 20 minutes until until the race started. As my team and I gathered at the starting line, I began to realize just how people were here. Quickly, we pinned our numbers on our shirts and paints our faces, arms, and legs with green and gold. Then a cluster with people with drums or batons began to play loudly. It changed my whole experience. Suddenly, I was attentive, excited, and ready to run. As the heart-like thumps from the drums palpitated through the ground, I could fell them echo in feet.
The sky was calmly overcast and the wind blew sharply over the hills. They called the runners to the start and arms and legs trembled in an electrified excitement. The drums continued to shake the ground as the race began. All of the runners shot forward like herd of wild animals. As the runners spread out, I took my place in the middle of the pack.
After sprinting down a large sandy hill and keeping a steady pac eon the slow inclines, I approached the mud pit. Most of the runners were merely wading slowly through the sludge. But I unhesitantly plowed through it as fast as possible, nearly falling at one point.
As I made it over the last hill, I could see finish in the distance. The song "Keep On Running" popped into my mind as I continued on, utterly exhausted. Yet, when I began to hear the drums again, they galvanized me to run even faster than I thought I could. As I entered the last 100 meter stretch, I heard my team members and coaches screaming my name and cheering.
There was one runner about 5 meters in front of me. I had already hit my limit, but somehow began sprinting even faster. My lungs felt like they being enveloped in an inferno of exhaustion and dehydration. Everything flew by me as I propelled myself forward with my feet, scorched with friction and sweat. I nearly fell over as I tried to stop and tell the people my name and my number.
I was given a cup of watered down blue gatorade as I walked away from the finish line. I drank the whole cup as I walked to where my team was congregated. They congratulated me and we cheered on the remaining runners.
As we rode the bus back to Sweet Home that afternoon, all I could think about was how good I did in the race. I realized that day that there are a lot of people in this world, and with their help and encouragement, you can accomplish great things. I also realized that there are people in the world who accept you and will make your life better, you just need to find them.


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