Why I Run

I’ve just finished warming up.
I feel the butterflies in my stomach.
I try to distract my mind,
And tell myself I’ll be okay.

All runners are called to their mark,
I try to shake off my nerves,
Then the starter raises the gun
And starts the race with a crack.

With each passing lap,
It gets harder to hold steady.
But as I enter my final lap,
I speed up and ignore my body.

As I cross the finish line,
I look at the clock and feel a rush of joy.
I’ve done it!
I’ve reached my goal!

While I change my shoes,
Pumped up and out of breath
I realize that this is why I race.
This is why I persevere.

Through early morning practices,
And evening muscle cramps
I endure it all, to overcome,
And achieve this feeling of triumph.

-- Rebecca L., 15