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Word Count: 583
It was the first race I had ever run in and initially I believed it would be as easy as practice but boy was I wrong With every step my legs were pleading for mercy I gasped for breath but received no air My heart was beating a million miles an hour The only thought I could form was why in the world did I choose to run cross country Finally after what felt like an eternity I crossed the finish line only to hear a man announce And that is the end of the froshsoph raceGrowing up I have always thought of myself as being towards the top of the pyramid With that in mind it is understandable as to why being dead last in a race was such an unfamiliar feeling to me I had let down my teammates my coach and my parents It is standard procedure however to let every runner know that they did fabulous The first thing my parents said once they met me at the finish line was Great job Stephanie We are so proud of you I was literally the last person out of 200 girls to finish Are you really going to stand there and think those words are comfortingAs I kept on walking I pictured the eyes of hundreds of bystanders piercing my back I could imagine strangers whispering to one another talking about me I cannot believe she came in last What a weak little thing In that moment I knew that I had to do everything in my power to prove them wrong That next week in practice I pushed myself harder than I ever imagined possible I could not walk normally in school because I was in an immense amount of pain but as the clich goes no pain no gain right At least that is what I told myself repeatedly to get through each dayEventually our next race in
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