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Personal Narrative-Destructiveness In An Athletic Team

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Before the run, we walked. We gathered in our teams, lined up in neat columns on the one hundred meter start, and stared down the distance between ourselves and the starting line. Every runner was shaking out his limbs, getting the blood flowing, the already tense muscles ready to explode at the crack of the starting gun or the passing of the baton. The sun’s cruel glare beat down on my team’s black jerseys; the sweat-wicking material wasn’t helping much today. Everyone tried to amplify that nervous energy that runs through every bulging artery, every electrified synapse, and transform it into unbridled power. The intensity in the air was palpable. This was the four by eight hundred meter relay: in teams of four, we would run two lightning…show more content…
Collectively, the crowd stood up on its feet just as we began to move, filling the air with a friendly cheer. They looked content; a community of parents and families all here to enjoy the sunshine, the sweet smell of spring, and runners leaving it all out on the track. If only I felt the same way. As it was, I was facing down a tsunami of dread. My stomach was doing gymnastics inside me and my hands shook. I felt my resolve melting, siphoning away into the heat. Hold on, I thought, you can do this. I looked at my mom again and tapped a hidden vein of willpower. I kept walking. Running over a mental checklist, I reminded myself that I knew my goal, I knew my abilities, and I was long practiced. My attitude changed, and I made a decision not to hold back. I stoked the fires of adrenaline until they roared. Let’s do…show more content…
“Come on OP!!” He screamed at me, pinwheeling his arm in a circle in the corner of my eye. The Rockford Runner was still there, but pain was piling on by the second. Agony found its way into my legs, bursting through, climbing up the pulsing muscles and tendons like ivy. Ragged breaths forced themselves from my slack jawed mouth. The hot sun still beat down overhead, indifferent to my suffering. I could still hear Coach as we blasted down the straightaway. He yelled at me not to give up, to resist the breakdown of my stride, not to let go.
200 meters. At this point the crowd was screaming at us, the first two runners. Spittle was flying unabated from my mouth with each new gasping breath. My face had gone slack - there was no energy left to make facial expressions. The pain was almost too much to bear.
I began to lose him - he transferred into his final kick (an all-out sprint for the finish) and so did I, but I feared I was too spent from the first lap. Rockford is just too good ricocheted through my mind, emerging from the clouds of pain. The crowd in the stadium stood up and cheered as we rounded the bend, seemingly on another planet. There is a point in every race where one hits a wall - and I had slammed into mine. It now felt as if I was figuratively, along with literally, dying. I kept up the pressure but my legs began to
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