Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013 - (Page 36)

My legs tremble as I crouch down, placing my left foot in front of my right, just before the white starting line. “Take your marks, get set…” and I’m off. Everything around me blurs, and the other runners drift behind me as I run. I focus on the metronomic rhythm of my feet until the sky breaks loose, the trees rustle vigorously, and the sun is lost in a smear of shades— ashen grey fading to a deep, dark blue. Raindrops dampen the crisp forest air. My now drenched uniform is glued to my body, my hair is thrust behind my head, and my glasses are spattered with raindrops. Needle-sharp plant bristles scratch my skin, but I do not feel the blood trickle down my leg. No. I continue to push the muddy ground behind so that I can accelerate forward. The weight of my heart pulls me down, but I cannot stop now. I’ve come too far. When I first began to run, my father would push me to complete a single lap around the track, but I would come to a stop just halfway through, gasping for air. My heart would race, quite contradictory to what my legs would do. All that crossed my mind was how much I loathed running, and how tired I got so quickly. Yet I continued to run, gradually running longer and longer distances. Lengthening my strides, swinging my arms, and inhaling more air as I ran, I was able to sprint faster and faster in the last segment of a course. At the end of a long run, I felt a rush of pleasure. There was no better feeling than the thrill of accomplishment. The downpour of rain recedes to a hushed patter. “I can do this,” is the banner I carry in my mind as I urge my soaked body along with each stride. When I think I am too tired to finish, just as I am ready to give in and stop, I envision the end. I notice the breeze on my face, and I realize that the objects in the distance are not swaying trees, but cheering people. Behind me, I hear the rhythm of someone else’s feet. I lift my weary knees high, swing my arms faster, and sprint. No looking back. Even though I have sped up my metronome, the runner behind me does the same. The race is close. As the last 25 meters approach, I imagine running on the smooth, dazzling blue surface of the ocean. And then I’m slipping in wet muck, 36 imagine thrusting my arms out in opposite directions, and I slide through the mud across the finish line with a huge grin on my face. I came in third overall! Exhaling deeply, I sink into the moist grass feeling wild, free, and proud. I remember the first time I beat my father. The trees swayed in the cool forest breeze, and the decomposing brown leaves crunched under my feet as I ran. We had almost reached the end of our course, and my dad had a strong lead of about 300 meters. It should have been impossible to catch up with him at that moment, but just as I was about to give up, I thought of myself as an airplane racing through silvery clouds, almost defying gravity. My footsteps became bolder. My steady heartbeat synced with my rhythmic breathing, and with each stride, I closed the distance between me and my father. When I saw sunlight gleaming like diamonds on the damp ground, I knew the run was almost over. The trees unclogged the sky, making way for the sun to shine through. At that moment, I boosted everything: my breath, my stride, my heart rate. Faster and faster I went, my breath hissing through clenched teeth, and just like that, I caught up with my father. Seconds later, I glided past him. I was out of breath, my cheeks burned, my hair was wet and tangled. And I couldn’t stop smiling. I might have looked like a complete mess, but inside, I felt the complete opposite. I knew there was nothing I could not attain. originally from India, Vedika Luthra now lives in Warsaw, Poland. She is fascinated by history and loves cooking, singing, playing the piano, and running. Last summer, she took Crafting the Essay at CtY, which she says gave her ideas for how to write this piece. mar/apr 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013
Big Picture
In My Own Words
Music to My Ears
Together as One
Circle of Inspiration
Six Strings and a Dream
In Pursuit of Joy
Jazz Studies, Improvised
Music in College
From the Great Wall to the Golden Gate
Sines and Wonders
Selected Opportunities & Resources
My Journey Through the College Admissions Process
How It Feels to Run
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013