Elisha - Kansas City, Missouri
Entered on February 18, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in strength. I believe in perseverance. I believe in something that horrifies the weak and spurs the righteous. The thing I believe in is passion.

The strength needed to persevere is burrowed deep within the heart of an individual whose life burns with passion. Let me tell you about my passion. I believe passion is the true desire to achieve something from oneself, even if it seems hardly possible. To me, passion is not a sensation that comes and goes, for nothing but true passion smolders within my soul, screaming for something that seems just out of reach. I am not without passion as long as I am not without my cause.

My cause flows through my feet. My strength comes from hard work and effort. My perseverance bleeds from my passion. The strength required to place one foot after another is the mystery of my passion. What exactly do I do? I run. There is no other sport quite like the one I have chosen to strive with. Some say it is ridiculous, but to the men I lovingly share this pain with, there is no greater bliss.

This experience has changed me, and its’ values continue to shape my life, on and off the trail. Sometimes I see my running as a metaphor for life. A race can be difficult; there is certainly an unprecedented amount of stress that goes along with the idea of racing a little over three miles and still finishing with strength. There are holes in the road, rocks on the trail, there are hills, and there is that little voice in my head that always insists I could stop, or pretend to fall over, and then the pain would end.

Let me tell you why stopping is impossible for me. There is something that pushes me onward in my life, something that I caress deep in my heart and something ever present in my mind. There is something that will not allow my stride to lack or my form to fall. Because without it there is no resolve, there is nothing else that could convince me to step up to that muddy line on a freezing Saturday morning, nothing that could make my heart flutter faster right before the gun…

And when I find myself without anything but sweat on my face and tears in my eyes, I know that there is something for me on the trail ahead; all I have to do is persevere for all that I love and hold dear in my heart. That is where I find my strength.

This is what I believe; this is my passion: one foot after another. And when my feet hit the ground, I’ll be running.