The sun was a giant weight on my shoulders. One hundred degrees. It beat down on me furiously as I ran around the huge track. Sweat squeezed its way out of every pour on my body, the entire top collar of my smelly P.E. shirt drenched in the moisture. I rounded yet another corner, my feet pounding desperately on the ground with every step. My calves felt like they were to burst out of my skin and spill all over the track. My lungs felt contracted, not giving me nearly enough air. The air looked wavy and fuzzy. I'm going to faint, I thought. Just a few minutes longer.
I passed the soccer goals, then the Seminary building, then the tennis courts. Once I finished the big track I had to keep going on the little track. Passed the lamp post. Now I was on the gravel. My bottoms of my feet throbbed. My throat gave off faint coughs, weak from straining to breathe. Deep breaths. The world kept spinning around me, around and around. Children at recess at the elementary yelled and laughed in the background. I had to make it in twelve minutes to get an A. I've always made it at exactly that. I stumbled and slowed for a moment, staring ahead at the wavy image of my P.E. teacher at the end of the track. Just a straight line from here. Come on. I took off, one last burst to the finish.
I passed the line, my head throbbing and pounding to the beat of my heart. I could feel my blood pumping all throughout my body, every vain swollen, pushing the blood past like a hot potato. "13:10" my time was called out. Not 13... I needed 12... my thoughts seemed to sway and block off. Defeat. The skin on my face drooped. I dragged myself inside and sat slowly on the ground. "You don't look so good," my friend said to me. I could hardly hear her. "I'm exhausted," was all that came out.
4 weeks ago