The Brick Wall

Nicole - Hudsonville, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

The Brick Wall

The ground felt as though it were going to crumble beneath me as I struggled to place one foot in front of the other. As my surroundings began to blur, I soon forgot where I was. All I knew was that I had to keep running and not give up. With each strenuous breath, every muscle in my body screamed for me to stop. My head pounded as loudly as my feet hitting the track and I felt my body gradually giving into defeat. The second I felt my pace slow, I remembered something my friend told me right before the race.

“Nikki, I know sometimes you can be apprehensive, but don’t let that show. Go into this competition with confidence and determination. When you feel like you hit the brick wall, run through it.”

No, I couldn’t let myself stop. I wouldn’t. All my life I settled for less than my best. Shoving my dirty clothes under the bed so I wouldn’t have to take care of them, good enough. Turning my homework in a week late, good enough. Always finishing last place, good enough. Not this time. I hit the brick wall and I had to run through it. With everything inside me, I pushed harder. I pushed until tears ran down my face. I pushed until each stride sent convulsions up my legs. I pushed until my heart hammered against my chest.

The loud uproar of the crowd snapped me back into reality. I had to make it. With the finish line in sight and girls quickly approaching from behind, I painfully picked up my pace. I wouldn’t let pain take over my body; my mind was in control. Without a doubt, I knew I could make it because for the first time ever, I believed in myself. As confidence took the place of doubt, I finished the race.

I believe that anyone can overcome an obstacle if they believe in themselves.

I started the race that day with uncertainty but finished with courage and determination. From then on, whatever I set my mind to do, I finish. I make an effort to leap over any obstruction in my way because I believe I can.