My Chance

By
It’s the Big Sioux Conference. I want to win so badly. My greatest competitor isn’t here so I have a chance. God only gave you so many heartbeats; why not spend your last one winning. That’s how hard I had to push it…how hard I wanted to push it.
“Runners on your mark…Bang”

You use 30% of your energy by getting in first, so just stay in the first group. This spot looks good, don’t let anyone pass you. Wait, I hear her, I recognize her breathing. I recognize that clicking sound…her inhaler. She is the only exception; let her pass you but stay right behind her. I hear her mother yelling at her on the sidelines. I just want to scream at her. Every race her voice towers over everyone else, her words can be so hurtful.

I approach the mile marker, finally. The golf cart guiding us ahead seems like it’s going so fast. The girl in the purple who had stayed with me since the first step, she’s tired. Her breathing has gotten heavy and raspy. I know that I have to go now because I can tell she doesn’t have any energy to waste on me. One, two, three I pick up my pace. She tries, but she decides that she will let me go. Now I’m in third. I decide to keep it this way so I don’t waste too much energy, but I won’t let them get too far ahead.

We round the corner very slowly. This is when I decide to pass the second place girl. She’s trying to take my pace, but I will not let her. Push it, push it, you want this…okay good, she gave up. Now its second place and she is in first. Just get up there and stay right behind her. Don’t let anyone pass you.

Wait, what is she doing? She is slowing way down. Oh, it’s windy...I’m taller…she’s drafting. Not again. Don’t let her do it; she slows down you slow down. She realizes that I won’t let her do it. Ha, what now; you’re not going to save energy by taking mine. I hear her mother; see her give her daughter that look. Not happening, Mrs. -------. Not this race, this is my race.

With two miles behind us, I feel like I just want to drop. I can’t, no regrets. Every race you have regrets, ‘you should’ve stayed with her’, ‘why did you let her pass you?’ not today. I hear people on the sidelines; some of their cheering helps me, like my dad and my coach. I sort of do it to make them proud. But others, they just make me want to scream “you get out here and do it!” I suppose if I had enough energy, I would.

Alright, she and I are well in the lead, side by side. I remember that this is the corner where you have to really go. I start pushing it; I can see the shoot, all the people lined up on both sides leaving a clear path of where I’m supposed to go. She is trying to get in front of me, trying to beat me. I won’t let her. We are side by side and the finish line is about 10 yards away. Now or never, now or never, now or never. You live for this, this is your life. You have to win, just once. So many thoughts rushing through my head that I can barely hear because the crowd is so loud, I can sense the tension in their voices, parents and coaches screaming at the top of their lungs. My legs feel like dead weights. By now air is barely getting through my lungs, I don’t care. I push past her. She tries, she tries so hard. But I out-stride her. I see her shadow fall behind me, and the finish line cross beneath me.





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