The Long and Dusty Road

(Brief Introduction)

I’ve recently been going through some of my old writings and I came across this one I wrote back when I was 14. It’s an amazing thing to think about what changes in your life in 10 years, how you grow as a person, and what you’ve been able to achieve (or not) and  what doesn’t change, because some things never do……That being said, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

            My heart pounds with each step, filling every capillary as they burst in my lungs. I feel everything. My chest aches and I breathe fire as I continue on down the road to the half-way point where I can finally stop for a moment and stretch my legs out. I look around me…nothing, except the rolling tops of the mountains and a neighbor’s house in the distance. Ah the half-way point. It seems so close. I can see it, but yet it’s so far away. Can I make it without giving in and walking the rest of the way? I ask myself.

I look down at my watch, trying to take my mind off of the pain in my legs and sides. It tells me little, other than  I have but only a few minutes left if I want to beat my running pace from the previous day’s run. Acting as a constant reminder of the commitment that I have to myself and what it takes and means to be a runner.

On a hill above the neighbors house, I fight for breathe as I stop and take a minute to look around and think, then I clear my mind and for a brief moment I think of nothing. I open my eyes to the beautiful scenery around me; I am now a part of. I still rarely find places as beautiful as that half-way mark. It’s a quiet serenity known only to those who run, but for those who do the cold crisp air and uphill battle to a level plateau of victory is forever worth it.

So often in life we get caught up living it and we forget about the things that matter the most. The little things from how beautiful the sky is to how many times we take a breath of God’s air in a single day without ever thinking about it. Life is a mystery best understood by no one, but by those who choose to live life past the half way point.

Running is the only time when nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter how I look or what people say. It doesn’t matter if things are getting tuff or the problems that I have. It doesn’t matter if I am happy or sad. All that matters are me and the unrelenting road I am on and how far I can take it before I can take no more. It pushes me to my limits and beyond. It is a part of me.

On the way back my legs begin to hurt from my hips to my ankles as they hammer down on the frozen ground of the hard earth rising up to meet them with every step. I think about anything to take my mind off of the feeling, as I continue to run, never stopping, giving in to the feeling of pain. Pain is motivation, it pushes me to where I need to go I think to myself, as I look up and continue.

As I go on. I eventually reach that final stretch of long and rocky dirt that stares at me like the foil of a good comic book would stare at the Hero in the final battle to decide which one would be the victor and which one would lose the fight. I put every muscle into motion and I pull from a strength not only from my body, but from my heart and spirit and I begin to challenge that last long dusty road….and myself.


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