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Life keeps you running

My mother says I came out of the womb running and haven’t stopped since. This is somewhat true, to be honest. I get a rush after a race, no matter how I have done. I write poetry about the sound of my feet scuffing the asphalt (feet shouldn’t pound when you run—it means you have bad form). I get more excited about getting new Nikes than I would about new Toms. So yes, I am a runner, through and through. When I am sprinting out the last hundred meters, my legs are on fire and I feel like I'm about to faint from exhaustion is when I am nearly at my happiest. You notice the nearly? Well, I say “nearly” because, though I am a runner, I am also a hurdler. Hurdling is a complicated business, but when you finally make it over a hurdle and you’ve done everything perfectly, whether you win or lose, for one second you are on top of the world.
When I hurdle, I don’t think. It’s now instinct for me to jump, extend, twist, pull around the trail leg, and take four steps and repeat, but that doesn’t diminish the exhilaration I get after I finish. I look back over all the hurdles and think, “Wow. If I just did that, I can do anything.” Everybody needs something to help them keep running. You always have to finish a race strong, even if you are in last place. For me, knowing that a 5 foot two girl can compete and succeed in hurdles at a high school level is enough for me to know that I, and anybody else, can do absolutely anything, just as long as we keep running.
This is in memory of Dorothy Shull, who didn’t have anyone to help her keep running.

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