competitor

All I can think about is a track star running in slow motion in elliptical fashion. If I become him, my I can feel my taut muscles pressing against my skin as they move. When my arms swing back and forth, my bicep presses on, begging to be included in this mass oxygenation of my body. Smelling freshly mowed grass and feeling that spark of adrenaline ignite in my brain at the excitement of moving and of winning this race. Breathing deeply, I can feel the air fill my lungs to capacity. It is sweet with spring and fresh mowed grass. As my eyes focus straight and peripherally, I see the track in front of me, the fence along side the outer edge and the families and friends in the stands cheering and calling. They are unimportant watercolor blurs. I feel wind move past me, against me as I stomp forward, feet hitting the reddish track, my white sneakers contrasting against the colors. I feel those ricochets of contact moving up my legs with each step. I taste the saliva in my mouth. It is desperate, my body getting tired and wants a drink. I also hear my own breath rumbling in my body as I try to breathe steady. It is this internal vs. external. My breath and internal heartbeat rhythm vs. this crowd, my shoes, the other runners whom of which I’m barely aware of. I am a competitor, but I am only competing with myself. Even if I don’t come in first in this race, I must come in first for myself. I strive to be better than my last race. My knees won’t stay young forever. My heartbeat thuds back in agreement. My lithe, thin body won’t support me forever. Doesn’t life have a knack for getting in the way, setting one off course? Aren’t we always transforming into something else? And there is something else underneath my Zen. And it’s fear and it’s anxiety and it’s Ego. And I try to push it down and focus on other things. Like how my back has started to sweat and has made the back of my shirt cling to me. Or the sound of my shorts rubbing against each other as I will my legs to move faster.

Author: Roe

29. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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