My Ultimate Safe Haven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   As I open the door, I pause a brief moment to tie my shoelaces ... and then ...

Whoosh! I'm gone in a flash, weaving through the currents of the wind like a bird. I fly free undistracted by my surroundings. I feel comfortable and as I float through the air like a basketball player feels effortless when shooting a free-throw. I don't know why, but somehow I find a safe haven when I am running.

I'm often asked by people, "Why do you run? Are you crazy in the head?" and all I can say is ... "I like it!" It's like a drug and I, yes I'm not afraid to say it, am an addict. A hopeless soul trapped within the mercy of its gigantic tractor beam.

I started running on a track team when I was in eighth grade, but found a love for it as a puny little sixth grader. I remember the first time I felt the fruits of my labor. It was eighth grade and I was on a CYO track team. I had qualified for the championship meet and I was as nervous as a Little League baseball batter is when he/she steps up to the plate to face the fastest pitcher in the league. My first coach, the unforgettable Sandy, came up to me and said, "Calm down. First of all, put these on." He handed me a pair of Asic DLS Trainers, the best pair of road racing flats for any runner. Then he said, "Now, I just want you to go out there and have the time of your life. Don't worry about winning against these guys." So I went out and ran without the slightest bit of care, and wouldn't you know, I came in third even though I was ranked last in my heat of the mile.

Now, I'm a junior in high school and my favorite events in track and field are the mile, 800- meters, and steeplechase, although only some high schools have the steeplechase.

Every time I step out the door to run, it is like I am embarking on a new adventure. I can be an audacious knight with my shoes as my only weapons to protect me from a steep mountain, which acts as a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon that I must slay or I can be a super hero, chasing after my greatest adversary. And after I defeat that dragon or capture that villain, I get a feeling that can only be found when I have done the impossible - the ultimate feeling of being a hero or champion of the world.

I find running to be my only safe haven in life, a place where I can go and not be distracted by the problems in my life or anything else, for that matter. I love running with all my heart and I plan to be a runner until I die and even then, I wish to be buried in my running shoes. l


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback