Five Laps of Dedication

E - Indian Head Park, Illinois
Entered on February 24, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Two hours every day after school I dedicate myself to track and field. I run mile after mile in all types of weather. We go outside in snow, wind, and rain. This commitment translates into late nights of homework, soreness, and sometimes pain. Why do I put myself through this? Because I believe in running in circles. I dedicate time and energy to practice. Track allows me to relax and relieve stress while socializing. I have made close friendships with many of the girls on the team. But/ it all comes down to the performance while running in these endless circles. The moment of truth comes at every meet.

The race entails running the indoor track for five laps to the awaited finish line. I walk to the starting line and take a deep breath. The sound of the gun shot echoes in my head as I sprint forward. Lap number one. I fight for positioning in the inner lane, feeling the adrenaline building like a car gaining speed to merge on a highway. Second place so far, hiding in the leader’s shadow. Lap number two. Fellow competitors begin to spread out as I settle into place. Lining the track are my friends and family yelling encouragement. Lap number three. I am still trailing close behind the lead girl. Random songs are playing inside my mind like music to a dance, setting my pace. When I pass by, my coach yells at me to make a move. Lap number four. I quicken my feet and pass the lead girl. My blue and gold spikes are digging into the rubber track. Lap number five. I feel the girl behind my creeping up. The curve is ending. I sprint so hard I can barely breath nor feel my legs pounding on the track. I cross the finish line where I am greeted by my cheering teammates.

The experience of a race sums up the reason for running in these circles. It doesn’t matter if I cross the finish line first or last. It’s the dedication and commitment to running that is the important factor. Making goals in any sport or activity, not just track, are the ingredients in making life worthwhile. It is necessary to push yourself to get better at whatever you are involved in. Constantly working towards completing a goal and achieving what you strive for is the best feeling in the world. I believe in running in circles to push myself to new heights a n d enjoy myself in the process.