The Race

Life is like an obstacle course.
You start crouched at the line, looking up at the course ahead full of hope and ambition. The time you spend there, that is your life as a child. SO full of innocence and the belief that anything is possible.
Everybody starts there thinking that they can win this, they can emerge victorious.
That moment we spend there, full of juvenile bliss crouched at the starting line is wonderful. It’s looking at life through the eyes of a child. I don’t remember too much from my life crouching there waiting for the sound of the gun and for my life to truly begin, but I do remember it being easy and feeling that I had some type of purpose.
There was rarely a day when I woke up feeling defeated, when the very thought of facing the day seemed so terrifying to me that I would do anything to just make the night last forever. In the phase of my life waiting there at the finish line, I had few hates and countless dreams, and the world had yet to reach in to my heart and steal the life from it. How I now look back and cherish the time I spent there, just waiting for the race to begin.
Once I became a teenager, and realized that people could be meaner then just taking your toys and would be so bold and to work to tear down everything that you were, I ran steady. It was the stretch before the hurdles and the time I spent in high school was used to prepare me for what was yet to come.
As you ran, trying to steady your breathing and keep the pace, you looked ahead. There was a voice there that told you that it would get better after that, that keeping the pace and your eyes pointed forwards as you pressed on moving past so many of your peers would pay off in the end, and once you hit the hurdles of adulthood, there would be endless possibilities for you.
Once you got to adulthood…
If only I had been so smart as to look back at the child I was to realize that keeping true to those dreams instead of just keeping pace was what I really should have been doing. Somehow, in that time of your life as you keep pace and look forward to adulthood and the hurdles it will bring, you let go of all those dreams, the ones that had made starting the race in the first place so worthwhile. We throw away dreams and hold on instead to logic, not realizing that anything is possible because we are too caught up in the race.
Then as you continue to keep pace as you run through your teenage years, you reach the hurdles.
Everything after that in life is a hurdle.
You find yourself trying to keep your balance as things are thrown out before you, some you see coming and others take you completely by surprise.
It’s at this point in you life when you stop and look back to the dreams you’ve thrown away and wish you had the childish belief and courage to chase after them now. Somehow in the race, it had become more important to have the most money, the most clothes, and just the most of everything that we sacrificed the happiness that those dreams would have brought to us.
In all of the adrenaline, with your heart beating so loudly in your ears, you couldn’t hear the screams of your own heart. Calling to you, yelling; that race doesn’t matter. It’s not about the race at all.
What waits for you at the finish line but death?
It’s not about who runs the race the best or the fastest, but who stays true to the person they were when they started the race. It’s those people, the ones who never let go of their inner child, who hold on so tightly to their hopes and dreams that truly win, the ones who take their time to get to the end, and get there with a smile on their face. They know when they start that life is a race, but they refuse to run it, simple because running a race wasn’t what they wanted to do with their lives.
Nowhere in their dreams was running a race, and so instead, they become astronauts, or swimmers, or teachers, or writers…
They walk around the hurdles that don’t matter, the surrender the fights that aren’t worth fighting and they don’t look at the finish line, because they don’t ever want the race to be over.
Life is a race, but it is up to us to decide whether or not we want to be runners.

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