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By Frank Yin

Hood up, head down, and hands in pockets. Behind the hood was the red faced, sweaty palmed student, George. He was glaring at his new classmate and teammate, Kamil, who had beaten the rest of the runners (including George) by a large margin at their first track meet.

George blamed his overconfidence for his loss and believed he should have won. George had been running for his whole life, and the 100 meter dash was his forte. On the other hand, Kamil had not had any running experience until the start of their school track team. Kamil had been a straggler and ran on his heels (a less efficient way of running). However, within 2 months, Kamil beat George at the 100 meter dash.

The day after the meet, George challenged Kamil to another race. George had beaten Kamil, but only by a slight margin.

George started to run outside of practice from the time he finished his homework to sundown. George also tried to talk to Kamil in hopes of learning from him. George noticed that Kamil was improving everyday and always doing well. George began to punish himself for performing badly; however, that did not help. George started to skip practice. He felt a thousand ton weight was pulling him back when he ran. A couple months later, Kamil was able to consistently beat George. George’s heart dropped, he put his hood up, head down, and hands in his pockets as he left the track.

George wished Kamil had never come to his school. George’s parents had started to notice that George avoided conversation and was frequently moody. So they talked to George and he explained why he was acting strangely. George’s parents told him that he should just focus on himself and work hard to achieve his goals.

George had felt like he had started to make some progress and often practiced with Kamil to build speed. George finished practice with a huge grin on his face rather than a hood isolating himself from everyone else. The last track meet of the season was coming and George was put in the same event as Kamil. They were lined up next to each other and each of them had a huge grin on their face.

The gun went out with a crack! The race started! Kamil pulled a lead right off the bat. George was not going to let Kamil win and he pushed his way past Kamil. For 2 short seconds, George felt the cool wind blow on him as he was in first but suddenly Kamil blurred past him. George was gasping for air as he tried to blast past Kamil. However, it was too late and Kamil had beaten George by a single step. George started to put his hood back on but something was tugging it back. It was Kamil and he said, “That was really fun. Thanks for the challenge”. George patted Kamil on the back and congratulated him on his win. Then, they went to join the rest of the team to cheer on the others.

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