Feb 18


In middle school I ran
on the cross country team
and for a while it was
the best thing in the world.
I crossed the finish line
always with a smile
no matter where I placed.
But as my team's reputation
for winning every race grew
the pressure put upon us
well that grew too.
In seventh grade
I had my first panic attack
in the middle of the woods
in the middle of a race
sobbing and choking
on sticky saliva.
The anxiety only 
got worse in eighth grade
and I don't know if
I'll ever run on a team again.
I love to run but
it wasn't the running
it was the competition
the pressure put upon me
by my teammates
by myself.
I still love to run
but I only run for me
not for a shiny golden trophy
that will sit in a case.
I run for my health and
for my own wellbeing.
I run only for me.