The race was about to begin.
Gathering all the courage I had left, I bounced down the stadium steps and stepped on to the fire red track.
Picture the scene: Diamond blue skies, clear as an empty ocean and not the faintest cloud in sight; the sun danced and shimmered like a gold medallion directly overhead. It’s warn rays touch down on the oval stadium at which the whole school stood upon.
Sports Day. Nearly a thousand kids from the school were taking part. Everyone was dressed in the uniform white PE top and black shorts. For many it would be the best day of the school year. For others the worst.
My social life depended on this one race. Readjusting my ponytail, I looked back to my form class on the bleachers. All the girls stared at me with stony expressions on their faces. They stood, arms crossed, still as statues as if to say, “You better win. Or else.”
I swallowed hard and looked back at the track.
This is what I had been training for; for this one race. This was it. My chance to prove I had star quality in me and that I wasn’t the poor little runt of the class. I needed to win this and I was so sure it would only get worse with them if I lost. This was it. My first sports day in High school was going to be my last day being labelled as a talentless loser.
Taking my position on the starting line in lane 4, I took a last glance back to the bleachers. Hundreds of kids all around me, cheering wildly. The sun shone on their faces, illuminating each unique expression.
“On your marks”
I raised my back leg, my eyes focused on the track.
The cheers of the crowd seemed to fade as time slowed, everything so surreal.
The real world came crashing back as I took off. Every technique and teaching point from training was put into action. I ran. And for the first time in a while I didn’t care what was happening around me and I lost all self consciousness. I ran for me, myself and I. My heart pumping, my trainers thumping across the finish line I doubled over. Screeching cheers from my peers surrounded me. My whole body was hot and flushed.
Slowly, with hope and pride, I raised my head to the platform where my form had watched my race.
This was it…