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Cross-Country

I stand at the line,
adrenaline coursing
through my veins.
My legs tense,
ready to start.
The whistle marks
two minutes—
an eternity.
The official raises
up the starting pistol.
POP.
We’re off to the finish line.
I immediately fall behind.
I am discouraged,
but not done.
Only one mile left.
The finish line appears.
My final energy decimated
to push myself to the limit.
Legs burning, tumbling, gagging for air
I receive my card.
Eighty two.
I stare at it.
Only for a second I knew—
I was defeated,
but will try better next time.



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