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A Different Shore

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I learned to run when I was five. The sky had risen in unison with the morning sun and I sat on the frothing border where land meets sea, surrounded by a ring of cousins. "Tag your it!" Shelly screeched as she patted my head and sprinted through the sand. I raced behind, my feet pounding, heart beating, and with every step a constant thump-thump-thump murmured in my ears. "Got you!" I screamed and leapt to tag her. I stumbled, and we both splashed into the shallow waters, shrieking with laughter as we attempted to untangle our mangled limbs. I smiled earnestly as my young heart thumped in my ears.

Running became less simple as time progressed and childhood meshed with adolescence. The constant echoes from peers and coaches to win always resounded in the background of each run. The pure pleasure and exhilaration I once felt faded. I faced competition with dread, fearing the loss, rather than the satisfaction of success.

I still hear a constant thump-thump-thump in my ears, but rather than the heart beat of my own soul, it is the footsteps I walk towards a different shore.





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