Just Did It! A Personal Narrative

Just Did It! A Personal Narrative“Congratulations,” said the man in the yellow shirt, “you’ve finished a half-marathon.”

The man’s words barely made a sound in my ears. I was thinking about the different pains in the lower-half of my body. My legs felt like cement blocks. My ankle joints felt like two rusty door hinges. My feet felt as flexible as two chunks of rock.

My race strategy was easy to follow. “I’m a beginner. I’m here to complete the course. I’m not here to win the race.” I would say these things to myself whenever I thought I would try and pass all 856 other runners during the 21 kilometer run, on and around the Great Wall of China.

So, when the race started and the bodies in front of me started moving I gradually made my way out of the corral. I set an easy pace: not too fast, not too slow. The 4.5 km climb up a winding, snake-like mountain road was the first major challenge. When I made it to the base of the steps, at the entrance to the wall portion of the race, I felt better than expected.

Later on, with more than a third of the race completed I still felt I had a quite a bit of energy on the paved-road portion. Still, slow and steady running was my strategy. It was me versus the course, not me versus the other runners. Although, I did speed up and pass a few people. I thought, “I can handle it. Some bursts of speed, then back to my regular pace.” As I neared the change from paved road to gravel path I started to notice a drop in energy.

Then, I slowed down on the gravel path and in the village, but when I saw the sign “16 km, 11.91 mi” a surge of excitement went through me. I told myself, “I can complete 5 km. It’s not hard.” It was probably the hardest 5 km I’ve ever run. My legs joined my  ankles and feet in pain. I alternated between jogging and walking. Any dreams I had about finishing in time to compete with the best runners were shattered and my focus was on one idea only: finish this race.

Finally, I came upon the tall, red and white striped cones directing me to the finish line. I found some small reserve of energy and broke into a faster stride. I was so tired I could barely hear the music from my iPod and the crowd noise cheering me to the finish. As I pulled up to the end, I looked up and there was the man in the yellow shirt.

To read more stories about Shekou International School visit their website: www.sis.org.cn/why-choose-sis

1 Comment for “Just Did It! A Personal Narrative”

  1. Nice job! Do you have any more details on the marathon? Half and Full? My brother back home is interested in running it. Thanks!

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The Contributor

Shekou International School was established in 1988. It is dedicated to meeting the diverse educational needs of the expatriate community. SIS is an international school with an American- based curriculum. The school is governed by International Schools Services (ISS) of Princeton, New Jersey.

We offer a rigorous academic program to meet parents' high expectations. We have state-of-the-art facilities and cater to learners from nursery through high school. A rich mix of academics, athletics, and activities delivered by a world-class faculty ensure maximum learning for students.

The Elementary School and Nursery campuses are located in our Mountainside and Parkside buildings, in the beautiful Jing Shan residential area. Middle and high school classes are housed in our Bayside campus, which is adjacent to the Coastal Rose Garden residential complex.

Our high school offers a rigorous college preparatory program. SIS is an International Baccalaureate World School currently offering the IB diploma program to grade 11 students. The program will begin for grade 12 students in August 2011.

The language of instruction is English for all classes, with the exception of proficiency- leveled Mandarin classes. Additionally, SIS offers the French National Curriculum in grades K-5 in which the language of instruction in academic subjects is French.

    Connect with Shekou International School:
  1. - Email: Click here

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