This I Believe

Thomas - Healdsburg, California
Entered on March 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: pleasure, sports
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.


I believe that in every person there is something that gets their blood moving or butterflies in their stomach that makes them feel alive. It is a natural thing. For me, it’s a track meet. You get one chance to run your hardest and everyone is watching you. Getting into the starting blocks is one of the hardest parts of my race. My arms are shaking while trying to hold myself up, and ice cold chills run up and down my neck and back. I try to visualize myself coming in first place, but I become sidetracked looking at the other runners and there foot and a half foot size advantage. When the gun goes off, I shoot out of the blocks, and all the nervousness and sick feelings are gone. For those 400 meters, everything is perfect. The air is not too thin or too thick. The wind is non-existent. And my adrenaline is pumping. With the lean, I finish my race and wait for the lactic acid to settle in my exhausted muscles. Just as fast as race had started, it had ended, and I was back in the regular, stressful world.

After the race, with all the pressure and pain of my race behind me, I felt alive, ready to do anything. I wanted to run the same race again. I wanted to run every race. I wanted to do anything that would be a challenge to me.

Every mourning, I count down the days until my next track meet, until the beautiful butterflies in my stomach and the refreshing chill running up and down my neck comes back. Every mourning, I count down the days until I can be in my perfect world for 54 seconds. Every mourning, I count down the days until I am able to feel the burning and cramping sensation after the race. And every mourning I count down the days until I am alive again.

I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity to feel alive every week at track meets. I feel sorry for those people that never do anything. They will never be able to feel the perfectness of their own adrenaline, and they will never feel alive.

This I believe.