Dreaded Shoes

Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.

The radio crackles to life, a voice blaring into my ears: “Run faster….stop slowing down….” I wait for the man to finish his sentence, letting out a sigh when his voice dims, crackling under the effect of no service.The humidity leaves me feeling sticky and uncomfortable, a burning sensation starts to develop in my throat. My feet covers the uneven layers of tarmac, quickly breaking into a run. Wind whips at my face, doing nothing to alleviate my raspy throat. I’ve ignored the discomfort that has already reached its way into my thighs, and although there remain two stops till I return to my starting point, I slow myself to a walk.

As a member of a track team, an individual is required to pace himself, to endure, and to thrive. It is where your team members are considered your family, where you are looked to strive for a better success tomorrow that rivals that of today, for the good of your team members, and for the good of yourself.These are the same requirements that tempt me to lay in bed, contemplating whether I wished to stay on the team or not. And despite the temptations of my bed and the dread I feel when my eyes fix onto the Nike shoes, I continue to seek for a win, for success.With the facility of taxis, trains, city buses at my use, I have no grounded reasoning to why I continued to run. I didn’t do it to avoid the symptoms of heart disease. . And still, this has become my refuge; an oasis that started at the soles of my sneakers. But this routine has become tedious- and all the more reasons to quit. But I continue, for my team members, and for the later rush of pride and glory that benefits me personally. I wake up a few hours at the crack of dawn and begin at a slow pace, later breaking into a fast run. The sun strives to slow me down with its heat, and yet, I will not allow it.

I will go against the words of the people who insisted I didn’t have it in me. I will bring forth the tears of pride that will overwhelm my loved ones. I will endure the pain. I will thrive on determination and motivation. I will succeed.With this reflection in mind, I watch the pedway blur under me, my eyes zoning onto the familiar set of trees that stood tall and proud, guarding my home.I sprint, feet brushing the land. My former self would have evaded the prospect of running so rapid and willingly. Now, I bathe in the thought of my feet kicking past its comfort zone, attempting to make it back successfully before the soft rays of the sun pierced through the glows, dancing across the sky and beyond the sidewalk.

Heart echoing in my ears and feet racing on concrete there was a faint crackle in my air, the familiar sound of an exemplary runner’s voice trying to once again get through to me. In the words I remember, the words of Doris Brown Heritage, ““Running is a road to self-awareness and reliance…you can push yourself to extremes and learn the harsh reality of your physical and mental limitations or coast quietly down a solitary path watching the earth spin beneath your feet. But when you are through, exhilarated and exhausted, at least for a moment everything seems right with the world…”

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