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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)

TITLE: The Forever Race
By Kathie Thomas


She bent over her knee to check her shoelace one more time. It was a habit of hers which had become a pre-race ritual that eased her nerves and helped pass the time. This race was important and she needed to do her best. It wasn't just to satisfy herself of her ability to run and how fast, it was also for her coach, who had put so much time into her because he believed in her.

The time had passed by so quickly. How long had it been now? Six years? In some ways it seemed a lifetime, but in other ways just a moment in time. So much had happened to bring her to this very moment, to participate in a race that means so much to her and to her family.

Over to the left in the audience her proud parents sat watching. Mum had a hand over her heart, and her dad had that faint familiar smile playing around his lips. They had told her they didn't mind where she finished, but just that she could do it – run a race when there was a time it was thought that would never happen again.

She thought about that phrase that often played over and over in her mind, ‘Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize' and smiled. I've already won the prize. I won it when I could get back on my feet. I won it when I was able to take those first steps. I won it when I walked down the end of the street without the aid of a walking stick and back again. Where I finish today doesn't matter because I've already won the biggest prize of all. And that is the love of my Lord Jesus Christ and Saviour, and his healing hand.

Over to the right stood her coach, touching the ends of his fingers to his thumb on his left hand, from one end to the other and back again. This was an unconscious movement of his that was comfortingly familiar, and she knew it evidence that his thoughts were elsewhere, and she was pretty sure that at this moment, he was in silent prayer - that she would finish this race.

The call came and the other athletes moved into position either side of her and she too settled into her position. She flexed her ankle and it felt good to sense the movement there. She was far more aware of the different parts of her body these days and how each felt when she moved or when something touched her. The start sequence began and the shot was fired. The race had begun.

And as she moved forward towards her goal of the 400 metre finish line she knew without a doubt that she was going to finish the race. All the training and strict discipline that had been put in place since her accident had brought her to this very point and no matter where she placed she knew that she had won.

1 Cor 9:24-25 (TEB) ... In a race all the runners take part in it, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline; he does so in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever.

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This article has been read 1082 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 02/24/07
I liked this story. I would like to see this expanded to tell more about the accident. What happened and how? Overall, I really liked the message and the story. Great job.
Jacquelyn Horne02/24/07
Glad to see this accomplishment here, but I would like to know more about why it was such an accomplishment. Good writing.
Joanney Uthe02/25/07
Great story of perserverance.
I would also like to have had more detail as to what happened to get your MC to this point.
I liked the "comfortably familiar" quirk of the coach. That made him sound more real.
Joanne Sher 02/25/07
Great, compelling writing. I was definitely engrossed - also would love to know more about the MC. Keep writing!
Jan Ackerson 02/25/07
Compelling readling, and inspirational. A good one for athletes to read as a devotional.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/25/07
I like the focus of your piece -the concentration on her immediate goal and all the ways she has already won. I think the way you wrote it is great, leaving the reader to imagine the details. Nice job.
Suzanne R02/27/07
What a touching piece. Well done. I also wondered what the main character had been through, but in any case, I was cheering her on, even before she'd started!
Donna Powers 02/28/07
This is very inspiring and well written. I read this with a little tear in my eye. Thanks so much for sharing this
Marilee Alvey02/28/07
This was a well written story, but there's something missing: we've caught this gal who's about to reach the peak, but we can't truly appreciate her climb without knowing...and feeling....where she came from. She's in mid-ascent, and the reader likes to start at the bottom with her, for two reasons: first, to feel like we know her and care about whether she makes it, and, second, to have a measurement with which to truly appreciate her progress. You have OCEANS of talent! I know how tough it is to stay under 750 words, but if you expand this story to include more detail from the trenches, you'll reveal a very moving story.
Betty Castleberry02/28/07
Your main character shows great determination. This could be a very inspirational piece for anyone who has overcome physical or other challenges. I have to agree with some of the others that it would be nice to know more about your MC. This is still a great read, and well written.
Loren T. Lowery02/28/07
I agree with many of the previous comments on this well-written piece. Until the end, I thought your main protagonist was a member of the Special Olympics, but then I learned about the accident and wanted to learn more.
Patty Wysong02/28/07
I loved her perspective of the race and what the real win involved. I wanted to know more of the why and even how...(gotta love word counts!) Since spending time partially paralyzed as a teenager, I was cheering for her with teary eyes, and applauding her attitude and perspective. Good job!
Sara Harricharan 02/28/07
This is great! I love the feeling and emotion here, especially the piece with knowing she's won the 'real prize'. Great stuff here ^_^ Thanks for sharing!
Phyllis Inniss03/01/07
I like the message here. She has won on so many levels after the accident and could actually star as an athlete. It did not matter if she did not win the prize to be given out, God had given her the most precious prize through her perseverance and determination and prayer.