Sprint to Failure
The clock is ticking. The introductions are lengthy. It has been four minutes now, and they have barely reached lane five. Gradually, my obsession to be number one fizzles out. Finally, the high definition camera is pointed towards me. The crowd goes wild. I beam to hide my frustration. They trust my speed and I have no reason whatsoever to let them down.
On to your mark…set…Boom!
Like a thunderbolt, I explode out of the blocks. My reaction time is unthinkable. And like a hammer striking a gong in an electric bell, my feet strike the runway. I love the cheer, the madness and the anxiety of the crowd. I feel their energy seep into my muscles.
As I approach the fifty- meter mark, I begin to struggle. I have clocked my top speed. My chest is burning out. My heart is beating explosively, and like a full time factory robot, it struggles to maintain the rhythm.
The sprinter in lane six is closing in on me. The confidence I first had has been replaced by worry. I cannot stretch my legs any further. I throw a furtive glance over my shoulders and there seems to be no one in close proximity.
My heart melts with joy as I narrow down to the finish line. The world title is just strides away. ‘The world’s fastest sprinter.’
Bang! I am off. My hind limbs are broken. I cannot move a muscle. I am flailing recklessly on the track. The pain is relentless.
I am just inches away from the finish line. My competitors glide past me with breathtaking display of power and strength. Caught up by my shoe laces, and robbed of victory, I stick my head in my vest. Unable to fight back tears, they roll down my cheeks. What a disappointment. I wish I could travel back in time: perhaps four seconds back.
Seated on a wheel chair, I review my race. I try sticking my head below the sand like the proverbial Ostrich hoping that time might provide a solution. No it cannot.
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