We’d all stand on the starting line, hyped, pumped,
Ready for the off.
Years of training brought us to this point
All those other races, exams, degrees paling into insignificance –
This is the Big One.
The starter cracks the pistol, and we’re off,
Jostling our fellows, trying to find some room to research.
As the race wears on we spread out
No longer treading on each others’ toes
Each pushing along in our own world.
Spectators yell their support from the sidelines
The noise seems so distant
Though the encouragement is welcome.
I bow my head, grit my teeth, and push on
Keep going keep going keep going
I look desperately for a mile marker
But none is nearby.
I grab a drink, a snack – something sugary –
And return to work. Keep pushing
Surely it’s not too much further?
As I enter the final mile the crowd roars louder
Can’t stop now can’t stop now
I dig deep, use my final energy reserves
The deadline looms larger and larger
I haul myself across it, victorious.
Then – oh, cruel world! – another mile to run
Before I can receive my trophy, a viva
I jump the hurdles
I am finished.
Image credit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-36123550