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What Is Mine This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


Cross country is mine.
It has never been yours or ours.
I have never associated you with running.
I have no memories of that.
It is mine.
It is what makes me different and worthwhile, and apart from you.
I am a runner.
I am the athlete you never could be.
You could never endure the pain I endure.
You could never do what I do.
I get faster each day
running on spite and determination.
You can’t tear me down when I’m running,
you can’t even touch me.
This is mine.
My pain brings me closer to something great.
Because it is great.
People look at runners with awe and feel inspired.
I lead a team of elite people.
Mistakes we make are pounded away on a course laden with mud and hills.
We sweat and cry and bleed.
That’s more than you have ever done.
I subject myself to this because each time
I come out a stronger, better person.
Stronger and better than you will ever be.
You can’t tear me down. You can’t have me.
You won’t keep me.
I am a runner and running is mine.

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




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