Boom boom. Boom boom.
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Boom boom. The steady rhythm of my heartbeat. It increases as my knife-edged spikes emerge into the track. It’s state. This is what it all comes down to. I bounce to keep my muscles loose. That’s all I have to do to keep my mind focused.
“Lane seven.” That’s us—this is our time to beat the schools we’ve been chasing, to beat the curse of dropping the baton, to beat the school records. This is it. The four of us separate to our different locations on the track. Boom boom. Boom boom. Boom boom. It’s escalating in speed.
I hear the referee shouting to get the runners ready. This is my cue to approach the right mind set. I grasp a few deep breaths and descend down to my knee. Now I wait in suspense. BAM. The gun explodes. Boom boom. Boom boom. Boom boom. I’m surprised my heart hasn’t bursted out of my chest. I hear the crowd shrieking to the runners, but it begins to fade as she comes closer. She glides toward the mark…I’m gone.
Everything becomes silent to my ears. All I hear once my hand touches the metal of the baton is “GO SHOBES, GO!” Shobes…that’s me. Everything around me transforms to a blur. I can no longer concentrate on the crowd or my fellow teammates cheering me on. Go Shobes, go. Go Shobes, go. My ten seconds of fame is up. Time to exchange the baton on to the anchor to bring it home.
My turn to shout her name. She blasts off my mark and darts to the finish line. We finish in third. We didn’t drop the baton. School record is broken. Mission accomplished. All powered by one word: Shobes.