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The Things I Carry


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Dear Neon Nike’s

I see your neon blurs striking back and forth in front of me as my weight shifts from my heel to toe on each foot. Beads of sweat trickle from my hair line down my cheek bones, and drip off of my chin. Each drop plummeting onto the earth in front of as well as onto your bright yellow fabric. It could be blistering cold and wind, pouring rain, or unbearable humidity and you never fail to comfort my feet or relive me of all my worries (snapshot/ sketch place).

I pull up my hair and comb through the tangles with my fingertips, securing all of the loose strands. I reach around my wrist for my dark brown ponytail and wrap it tightly around my thick brown hair three times. I feel tiny drops of water swell up at the corners of my hazel eyes. With all my might I try to hold them back. I press my lips together and tighten my jaw, making sure I release no emotion to the outside world. I look down, trying to only focus on strapping up my shoe laces. I pull hard (Snapshot/ Sketch person). The more stress, the harder I pull on the laces that haven’t broken or given up on me yet. I am so close to bursting as I think about the stressful week that just passed and the one coming up. Tomorrow is Wednesday and I will take three core class tests. On top of the homework, studying, projects, and essays, there’s a student council meeting before school, and a BPA meeting during lunch. I can’t forget to mention the hours of community service due on Friday, or going to work from around five to ten o’clock. I am already physically and mentally drained and the drama that comes with being a teenager emotionally takes everything out of me. My friends are fighting, boys and girls can’t just be friends, jealousy. All of this adds up. Tears burst out of my tired eyes and I run. I run away from everything, my fears, society, all of my thoughts. With each step something gets left behind.

On days like this one, the weather comes down exactly how I’m feeling. It is kind of like how every time you go to a funeral it is raining and gloomy. That is how this day was. (I obviously know I in no way have it that bad and I am VERY grateful for everything in my life. Anyway…) tiny raindrops were falling from the dark clouds up above as I took long strides towards the woods. I began to lose sight of all my problems. The yelling of society fades off in the distance. I don’t hear my boss demanding me to wait on the next table. The insurance agent is not asking for my next car payment. No peer pressure, no boys, no drama. At that particular moment all I know is running. It doesn’t matter where I’m going as long as my mind gets left behind even for an hour or two. All I hear is my heart beating steadily and heavy breaths escaping my tiny lips. The patters of my feet hitting the gravel, along with an old rap/rock song is music to my ears. Tiny stones fill the indents at the bottoms of my florescent Nike’s, and mud is splattered on the exterior of my shoes and my warm ankles after aimlessly stepping into tiny puddles. An hour passes of careless running and pretty soon it is back to the real world.

I step into the locker room where I am surrounded by shiny crimson lockers. The tan wooden bench is where I place myself to rest. I feel refreshed. From running so long my laces are already loosened, so I slip each shoe off one by one. My moist feet become cold as they are exposed to the air. The smell of odor lurks out of the inside padding of my shoes. But I am used to it by now. I glance at my mud soaked shoes and see the damage done during the run. It reminds of what I am going through in a way. The top of the shoe is ready to burst open from my big toe pressing against it so much (Sketch place/ snapshot). That only means it is time for a new pair. Even though one day I will have to let go of my neon Nike’s that only resembles me moving on. That is truly what my shoes help me do. They show me that every day no matter the damage or stress, the next morning you will be faster, stronger, and ready for something new. So I drop my shoes into my black drawstring bag and I am back to reality.

I never realized the many reasons I ran. People would always think how crazy I am for it and I would simply reply saying I want to be healthy and fit. This is not all of it though. I run to get away. I run from car payments, work and homework. I push myself harder and harder every day just so society disappears for an hour. My friends and family don’t yell or fight with me when I run. I run from the world. Long strides, one in front of the other and I know everything will be okay and that everything goes on. This is why I run, and why I will never give it up. Running is tough but it gets easier just as life does. It gives me hope, and it is the reason why I will never give up.




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