I went to a private school that was kindergarten through eighth grade. Once a year there was a school wide track and field day. All the students from grade 4-8 would choose two events and everyone had their moments to experience the glory of competition. The most popular events drew the best athletes, I thought I could cheat the system and get a medal by choosing a fringe event. Instead of competing against fifty kids in the hundred meter dash or high jump, I chose the three thousand meter run against six kids.
I was in fourth grade at the time, making me ten years old. I was the youngest one in the race, the others were all thirteen or fourteen and had been running the three thousand for years. They dominated me. I was so slow and they were so far ahead and there was no way I could beat them. I forget how many laps we had to complete but it was a lot, and that was a long time to know that I’m going to be in dead last. I just put my head down and kept on running around the track.
After a while I heard cheering. I thought someone finally won and it would be over soon. I kept running. I heard more cheering. I kept running. More cheers. And then my name. I realized that the cheers were for me. My fellow fourth graders were cheering for me, rooting me on. They didn’t care that I was clearly losing. They just didn’t want me to give up. I can’t remember how long it took me to cross the finish line but I did it and I did it because of them. It was a great feeling. Like something out of a Disney sports movie. I never ran the three thousand again. I never needed to. I already did it.
Critically Rated at 14/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young