This I Believe

Eric - Fullerton, California
Entered on January 3, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in finishing in the race. And it doesn’t matter what the race is. Currently, I’m running so that I can finish the school semester. I’m at the point that I don’t care what grades I have or what effect my scores will have on my GPA. I just want to finish so I can move on to the next step in my life.

I remember a race that I ran when I was 16. I was on the track team in high school. I was 6 foot and weighed 135 pounds: tall, skinny, lanky, and likely to tip over if a strong gust of wind came by. I wasn’t the fastest or the strongest. But I enjoyed my time and did the best I could.

During one track meet, my coach decided that I be a high hurdler. Just before the 100 meter high hurdle race, he approached me and told me to run the upcoming race. He was one of those coaches that had the knack of “persuading” anyone to do something. So, I had to run the high hurdles, a race that I had never run before in my life.

Coach insisted and so I jogged over to the starting line and readied myself for the race. I crouched into the starting position and, “BANG!” the start pistol went off. I jumped at the sound and ran forward towards the first hurdle.

I approached, jumped, and barely cleared it, clipping my trailing knee in the process.

Then came the next hurdle. I approached, jumped, only this time I crashed straight into the hurdle. Down I went, skidding onto the dirt track, scrapping up my arms and knees as I slid. I got up immediately and didn’t hesitate to continue the race.

The next hurdle. I approached, jumped, and crashed into the third hurdle. Down I went onto the dirt track again.

There are 10 hurdles total in a 100 meter race. I managed to clip one of them and fall flat on my face over the remaining 9. Every time I fell, I got back up and ran just to fall over the next one. When I finished the race, my arms and knees were covered with blood and dirt. And I was crying. I don’t think I was crying because I was sad. Or because I hurt. I can’t really explain what I felt. But I finished the race.

I can’t explain why I kept running even though I kept falling. Something inside of me just wanted to finish the race. I believe my life is a lot like that race. I run into hurdles and sometimes can’t clear them gracefully. And every time I fall, I get back up and run some more. It’s a lot more enjoyable to finish a race crying than just give up. I may not be the fastest, or the smartest, or most handsome, but I know I will finish the race.