Taking Flight

April 13, 2009
By
“READY…SET…GO!”
And you were off, running at your own speed not looking to see who you were beating. You run just for the feeling until you developed the talent that got noticed. Even with all the medals and prizes you won, the feeling never went away. You created your own rhythm (onetwothree, onetwothree, onetwothree) until your body and your mind were in sync. You ran so fast you felt you were flying, your feet weren’t hitting the pavement, if people looked closely enough they would see that you were indeed gliding above the worn pavement. You breathe in short breaths saving your energy until your last lap. You’ve been running your whole life, and you were always good at it. And why?
Ever since you learned how to walk you ran. You ran away from the people who picked on you, the fat bullies to slow to catch up. You ran from the failing test grades, from the teacher’s disappointed looks and the whispers you always heard. You wanted to show them all there was something you were good at, something you loved. You ran away from your dad’s fists, your mothers drinking your responsibilities to your younger brothers and sisters. You ran. And you ran fast, grinning ear to ear when you realized no one can touch you now. Not when you were so fast, not when you were flying. And away you went the problems you ran from left behind because no one can get you. You were to fast. You ran away from situations that became uncomfortable, ran away from the heavy eye contact and the loaded words. At night when you were in your bed thinking about things you hated you would open your window and sneak out into the night. Not to meet up your sweetheart or your friends, but to run. To run so fast that at the end your muscles sent involuntary twitches down your arms and legs. You ran so fast and hard you felt like jello at the end, if someone touched you, you would melt. You were flying one day when someone noticed. Saw you run so fast that the papers ruffled, that hats flew off, that you created some sort of tornado. And now.
You ran races for people for tournaments for them. But never for yourself. You won for them and smiled for them. But you still ran in the middle of the night, and those runs were for you. The moon and the stars were out for you, to create light for your running path. You ran then and now, always running never stopping. As you neared the last lap you let loose all the energy you were saving, passing the people who had pained expressions on their faces, grabbing their stitching sides. You watched their eyes glaze over with envy as you ensured another victory. Winning never mattered though, what mattered was the running; was the feeling of flying of taking off, of no one reaching you. As you neared the unbroken red tape you sprinted those last few seconds, your feet never touching the cement. And with both arms raised, triumphant smile breaking out on your face, you broke the red tape, still running.





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