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A race running away from itself: The motivational story known as Don't stop me: By Silvana S

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

Read this short story about a girl who wants to to win the Calgary Track and field running tournament. But she is threatened by another person in her class.

For my inhale I used goal #3. For my exhale I used goal #11.

For my inhale I read and annotated "And still I rise," by Maya Angelou.

As I walked into the school once again, I suddenly felt nervous. Today was the day. I couldn't afford to lose. I grabbed my hair elastic from my wrist and tightened my long dark hair into a ponytail. When I reached my locker, I was already in a bad mood. I felt worried and nervous. My breath was speeding up. I dialed the numbers into my lock and when it opened I threw all my stuff in there. I sighed and slowly walked to class. Megan then walked past me and purposely bumped into me. And without saying a word or looking back she just left. She must have remembered it was the day of the track and field competition.

Megan has always hated me, especially when I decided to join the track team. She always blabbed about how she was faster than me and always said it in my face. And yesterday on my first day of our track and field unit, she proved it. It took me 12.5 seconds to run 60m & took her 9.1 seconds. I wasn't slow either though. Like when it normally came to running, but she was just so fast yesterday. I didn’t even know people could sprint that fast. My race was 2000 meters though. Not 60 meters, so endurance also had a huge part to play in it. I also slipped and landed face-first in the mud. At least I was at the finish line and my time wasn’t EVEN longer. However, seeing this, Megan burst into laughter. “If you’re not fast, you could at least be less of a clutz. You look like a mess.” She laughed. It was like those words of hers shot me. And they made me feel even worse than I already did. Her cold eyes cut me, she looked at me with a face full of contempt. Then being the popular girl she is she just walked away and began gossiping with some boys. After school, I spent the entire day running and practicing sprinting as fast as I could. And then I made sure I wore proper running shoes to school. I couldn’t lose that badly again. Not on the day of the competition. Or at the competition. My name is Audrey and I am in the eighth grade. After recalling the memory, I went to my Humanities class. Megan is in my Humanities class and she unfortunately is my table partner. The hour went by and we didn't really speak. Also due to yesterday's drama.

In gym class, we were doing sprints again. And luckily I wasn’t paired up with Megan. However, I was paired up with Carlson. A tall boy nearly 5 foot 9 and the fastest runner in the grade. There was no way I could beat him. Plus he held the school record which was 8.21 seconds precisely. There was no way I could beat that. But I at least had to try. I started running and to my surprise, Carlson was ahead of me. But I wouldn’t let him beat me without a fight. I gathered all the strength I had and sprinted and ran faster than I ever had before. And when I crossed the finish line for a second I thought that I had beat him. But of course, it couldn't be possible. I did horrible yesterday.

“8.12 seconds.” The gym teacher said.

“Yes! New record. I definitely beat you, Audrey. I still like um won.” He said, unsure as to whether he saw me or him finish the finish line first.

“Not so fast.” The gym teacher said, “Audrey got 7.98 seconds. The NEW school record.”

I gasped. Calrson looked like he wanted to kill me, but I just showed him the loser sign and walked away. Megan looked shocked too. But she just ignored me and started talking to her friends.

“Nice one girl.” My best friend Raina congratulated. Raina had never really been that athletic so unfortunately she didn’t join the track team with me since she wasn’t interested in sports.

“I am exhausted.” I complained.

“So 7 seconds. Not bad.” She chuckled.

“It was 0.02 seconds away from 8 seconds. So It wouldn’t really count as 7 seconds.” I admitted.

“Eh. You still beat Carlson. And got the new school record.” Raina cheered.

“Yeah. I guess.” I realized.

“And Megan looks furious.”

The two of us then burst into laughter.

The school day went on and after school ended and I got off the bus I went straight home. I put on my school's team shirt and shorts and applied sunscreen to my face. It was a lovely September afternoon and the sun was high in the sky.

Today was the track and field competition. Every school in Calgary would be there and I had been practicing running for months. I just had to get first place. I got inside the car and my parents drove me to the competition. I knew I could be faster than Megan. So what if she beat me in a race back when I was in grade 7. I've become a lot faster.

I made my way over to where my school was by recognizing our school flag being waved. I knew I just had to win this.

"You know I'm still faster. Right Audrey." Megan chuckled.

"That was a year ago and you never cracked the top 10 in one of these. Like ever." I spat.

"Neither have you. And we'll see about that." Megan then stuck out her tongue.

“Yeah but I now hold the school record. How does it feel to be the Clutz now?” I retaliated.

Megan was so embarrassed her pale skin turned red with embarrassment. Out of anger, she walked away.

Eventually, the grade 8 girls were called up to the starting line and I had never been so nervous. Megan was of course a few rows in front of me while I was away at the back being crowded by a bunch of people. I didn't hear it when the announcer said go, but Megan did. Giving her a head start. I didn't even notice anything happened until I realized everyone else was already sprinting away. Great. It was a two-kilometer race. How could I win now?

However, I remembered my older sister Freya's advice to me. She was a professional runner in her twenties and has even ran in the Boston marathon. She told me that no one could ever win a 2K just by sprinting. She said I needed a strategy. I had to go slow for the first kilometer and then start sprinting at the last few hundred meters. Had these people had no strategy. I started running, not wanting to be so behind. Although it was only a jog. After 1.5KM everyone was so tired. I however wasn't. I picked up my pace and eventually started running.

"I can do this. I will make it to the finish." I murmured to myself.

Megan looked furious the moment she saw me pass her. However, she was just too tired to even try to catch up to me. The last 100 meters approached and there were a few girls in front of me. They must have been top-notch runners like me. My lungs were already starting to hurt really badly. But I wouldn't settle for just the top 10. I ran faster than I ever had. Faster than my exhausted legs ever had. I started coughing really bad and snot started coming out of my nose. But I did not care. I didn't stop sprinting until I reached the finish line.

After a while, I realized a tall girl from another school dash in front of me. I was going to show her who the fastest is. Just before she reached the finish line I jumped in front of her.

When the results were announced I got first place and won a banner for our school. I fell down in the dirt out of pure exhaustion. But I didn't want to stand up now. I had won the race. Megan was absolutely furious, but I was too happy to even care. No one could stop me.

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