The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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This is when my father first found his love for running. After this it became a major passion of his and he did it until he graduated from high school. His love for it is still evident through my younger brother, who now runs track and is helped by our father.

Today was the hot, summer day of Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania’s Fourth of July Celebration. Keith couldn’t have been more excited to have a lively day filled of barbecues, games, and fireworks ahead of him.Kevin and their father accompanied Keith to his first activity of the day.

The trio made their way to Melon Elementary school, where Keith would be running in the 100 and 220 yard dashes. Standing among the other eight year olds, he noticed how he towered over them and took noticed how much smaller they were than him. A pit within Keith’s stomach began to form. The only times he had ever ran competitively outside of the races with the neighborhood kids.

“Alright! You kids ready to run?”, the man spoke enthusiastically to them. He was met with cheers from the children, including Keith. “Okay! On your mark,” Keith took his bent knee stance in the furthest lane from the center, “Get set,”, the sun began to heavily beat on his back to the point sweat clung to his shirt, “GO!” he blew into his whistle and Keith was off.

One foot went flying in front of the other, his arm movement propelling his forward. Keith’s long legs lunged him in front of the other kids one by one. With each passing, he felt a new sense of satisfaction that he never experienced before. He quickly reached the end of the 100 yards, a couple seconds before the others followed. Breathing heavily he bent over and looked at his shoes. The bottoms of his feet burned from the hot track and the thin shoe soles. When he stood straight up he returned back into his surroundings.

Parents were meeting with their loser children and comforting them. While looking for his own family, a hand was slapped onto the wet patch of sweat on Keith’s back.

The man grinned down at him, “You know, you’re a pretty fast kid. Maybe you could join a team and compete?” The man seemed serious, giving Keith a sense of hopefulness.

“Do you really think I could?”, Keith beamed up at him. The man bent to Keith’s level and continued with his grin, “I wouldn’t waste my time offering you a spot on my team if I didn’t.”

Fourth of July Celebration

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