Photo: Sarah Andrews
I crouch down getting into the starting position. Sweat is already beading on my brow. My muscles tighten ready for the start. They’ve been practicing for this, training for this. My muscles have spent hours being stretched to their limits. They’ve spent hours aching in pain, wondering what the point of this agonizing work is. But I know. It’s that goal at the end of the track. It’s the sound of the crowd on my ears. It’s the way “Relays” rolls off the tongue. It’s the swelling of pride in my chest covered by the color of sapphire blue that I wear like a badge of honor.
I’m getting tense now. I’m anxious for the start. My heart is pumping at the speed with which I want my feet to use. My muscles clench waiting to spring to life and hit the pavement. I lift my eyes to glance at my goal. The need to reach it starts to boil my blood. Adrenaline pumps through my veins like a life force. I’m just a second away from my flight.
My breath hitches. The moment is here. My body begins the job it has been trained to do, the job it has been striving toward. My mind focuses, a narrow tunnel that ends with the light I’ve been waiting to reach. This is my moment. This is my chance. Now I run.