“I Run” by Taylor S. simply left me out of breath. This skillfully written piece describes the pure thrill of running and the satisfaction of passing the finish line. Taylor clearly loves running.
One of my favorite lines from the article is “When I run, I am Tarzan in the jungle, I am Billy Elliot in his ballet shoes, I am the Doctor in the TARDIS, I am Matilda with a book, I am Spider-Man on his web.” Taylor feels perfectly in place with her life while running. She finishes the piece with the caveat, “I come in last place. I said I run. I never said I was good.” With this completely unexpected ending, Taylor emphasizes that her reason for running is not winning.
I found this article refreshing because it wasn’t written by an expert about the glories of breaking records or gold medals. Taylor loves running even though she isn’t fast. Instead of competing with the other runners, Taylor competes with herself. When she conquers her mind and body, she is as victorious as the first person to cross the finish line.
I can relate to Taylor, having similar experiences in yoga class. When I started out in gentle classes, I was on top of the world, able to do every pose. Now I take basic yoga. What a difference! I can only do the simplest poses in this class. Yet the concept of yoga is to be at peace with yourself after conquering your own goals – to rise to your own standards, not those of others. I imagine I feel the same satisfaction that yoga experts feel during the meditation that follows exercise. I watch as they lift into handstands and bend backwards into bridges like Taylor watches runners speed past her.
Thanks, Taylor, for coming in last place!
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.