This I Believe

Paige - Wenatchee, Washington
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports

It was a dream life. Varsity cheerleader. Red sports car. Long blonde hair, perfectly manicured fingernails and a Louis Vuitton bag lounging on her shoulder. At the Winter Ball, a tiara sparkled on her head and she was crowned queen. She had sixty college credits under her stilettos. But she hated her parents.

So, I graduated early and left for college in order to get away from them. As I put the car in reverse, I watched my mom stand in the driveway, tears pouring down her face. I placed my right hand on the clutch and slapped into drive without whispering an “I love you.”

Four months past and I dreaded going back home for the summer. While there, I enjoyed waking up to my Dalmatian snuggle in my face, telling me “its lunchtime!” I then tended to stumble into the kitchen, hair slanted on top of my head, and sit across from my mom at the breakfast table.

Today, she was drenched with sweat and I asked, “What were you doing?” She chirped, “Exercising! I biked 11 miles today. Running six tomorrow.” Feeling the effects of “freshman fifteen,” I asked if I could go with. And because of my decision to go with her, I now believe that exercising builds more than muscle—but divine friendship.

So, at six-thirty the next morning, I slipped on my short blue cheerleading shorts that barely hugged my cheeks, swiped on my Old Spice deodorant and gripped my water bottle, dreading the workout. Six miles past…in silence. But day after day, I continued to wake up every morning at six thirty and exercise with my mom. Conversations slowly eased in, and every sunrise I was more and more excited to go sweat with her. It was a routine, a habit, and I loved it. She pushed me, and I pushed her, and together we were a team. Just my mom and me.

The last day of summer had come, and as I rode my bike down our daily route, tears dripped down my face as I felt the wind in my hair and watched my mom tough it out up a hill, her gray spandex showing her muscle with every peddle. I realized that this was my last morning to be able to burn fat and talk with her. But it was more than just burning fat , it was building a friendship.

The next day, we packed my bags together, and embraced. And cried. As I put the car in reverse, I watched my mom stand in the driveway, tears pouring down her face. I placed my right hand on the clutch and slowly put the car into drive, not wanting to lose sight of my best friend.