Editor’s Note: Autumn Eastman, a senior at Champlain Valley Union High School, is one of the premiere distance runners in the state. Last fall, Autumn began journaling about her running to show what it was like and explain why she works so hard to succeed. Autumn’s story is the first in a new YWP feature, INSPIRED, in which young people write about what inspires them to succeed. We will publish additional pieces in November and December, and you can follow Autumn’s continuing journal by clicking here. UPDATE: Autumn finished second in the Eastern States meet several weeks ago, a remarkable accomplishment. Runner's World just profiled her.
I wake up to that familiar feeling in my gut, a turmoil that reminds me of the challenge that I am about to face. It’s race day.
I didn’t sleep very well last night. I tossed and turned, and when I did sleep, I dreamt about running and racing and outcomes good and bad. Read more »
Hello! I assume if you're reading this you've clicked the blog title and are now looking at page after page, paragraph after paragraph of words. You might be thinking, "Holy moly, I am NOT reading that." I didn't expect it to be this long, but I found I had a lot of things to say and I think they're important things to know as a middle schooler, or an elementary school goer, or really anyone. So, if you have the time, just take a quick look at it, alright? It may help you, since these are all the things I wish I had figured out sooner in middle school. I've highlighted the important things, and the rest is just me trying (badly) to pull everything together, and use real life experiences to make you guys understand why it's so important to banish the word "popular" from your vocabulary.
To start off, I have this theory of what "cool" is, and how to be cool what it means to be popular. I've had this theory ever since...oh, about the 7th grade, when I looked at Serena, a sweet girl in my class, and said, "You know what? It's just the way she carries herself."
What makes a person cool? Believe it or not, I had never thought about it before and it was suddenly crucial, because that was all a bunch of my friends talked about.
"She's so pretty. She's so cool."
"We can't talk to them, they're popular." The word was like poison to the tongue. Read more »
I do not like football games because I do not belong at them. I know all the faces. There are hundreds of faces that I choose not to speak with. The lights make the sky paler but it is dark; only they will push back the dark. The rain is only visible in front of the lights, along with the sparks of a hundred thousand mosquitoes that flicker and skid wildly. Read more »
What is joy? So many would ask this out of others, but not know their own answers themselves. They do not even know what makes them happy these days, it's all just filled with sorrow and loss. But do they not know, that without sorrow and loss, there would be no joy? There wouldn't be an inch of happiness in this world without it, and that is truly a tragic story to tell. Read more »
I want to run through green fields,
barefoot with long tendrils of grass
twirling themselves around my bare ankles
and coming up through the spaces between my toes
like I used to do on warm summer days
before summer ended and school began,
one last time.
I want to laugh at a joke,
head tilted towards the sky
and lips parted in a grin that lit up my face
and made my eyes twinkle like stars
on a clear night
like I used to when we were best friends,
one last time.
I want to love someone,
heart pounding and mind swirling chaotic thoughts Read more »
I have big teeth. It doesn't bother me, and it's not something you need to skirt around for the sake of sparing my feelings. I know I have big teeth. My front two are about one-third bigger than the rest and topped off with a gap of a good half-centimeter. It's big enough for me to stick a straw in there and sip with my teeth completely closed. Don't tell me that's not cool. Read more »