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One of Those Days

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I knew it would be one of those days when I woke up this morning and looked out the window and saw 16 people with green shirts and 12 with green coats and 3 with no coats and 2 with no shirt. Then, after I brushed my teeth, 40 in the back, 40 in the front, I remembered it was race day. I was one of 362 racers that day. Exactly 6.394 miles from the line I started on to the finish line, even thought the sign said 6 mile run. But I did not run. In fact I have not run in 12 years 62 days and 13 hours. But that has not stopped me. This is my 8th race and 7th one where I was the only person racing in a wheel chair. At the starting line there were 356 racers. That means that 6 people signed up but did not race. 214 people had red shorts; that meant it would be a good race. When the horn blew, I knew I had to start. I learned that at my first race. What happened was, the man in the stands blew the horn and I thought it was too loud so I hid my head in my hands and 212 people ran past me and that was too many so I yelled. My mom had to come all the way from 129th Street to get me and I felt embarrassed because I was 19 years and 4 months and a person of that age should not need their mom to come pick them up because 212 people is too many. So now I know that the horn means start.

My wheels turned 6696 times. The man who got first finished in 39 minutes. I finished in 51. I wasn’t last. I am never last. I can life 415 lbs., so that means I am very strong. During the race, we passed 12 people walking dogs and 2 dogs that had no one to walk them. At the end of the race, there was a new hole in my glove; it was to the left of the last one I got. I got that one when my dad ran over my glove with the Toyota; the Toyota has 6 scratches in it and 2 of them are a mystery.

It was not my fastest race; my fastest is 46 minutes 26 seconds. But it was not my worst either: 73 minutes 41 seconds. I am always happy after a race. I like the feeling in my arms. It feels like the blood in my arms is trying to be the point in the river where the rapids and the water is still, the place where your boat drifts and your body had to adjust. Your body wants to keep going fast, because of inertia, but the water is not flowing quickly anymore, so it can’t. This feeling makes my arms hand next to my wheels; I like it. The best part is when people clap. They might not be clapping for me, but they could be. And I like that because it makes me feel like I did before the accident, when I was just a normal kid with autism. It makes me feel like there is only 1 thing wrong with me, instead of 2. And I like the number 1.





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