It was a cool November night and there I was running through the smoky populous city of Chelmsford, rows upon rows of cars sped along the narrow concrete roads. Noise from the movement of cars and the odd occasional sound of a horn were to be heard. Among all this chaos and confusion there I was running, running as far away from my troubles as possible.
My heart was pounding vigorously against my chest demanding more and more oxygen. Pain was accumulating in the lower part of my legs causing much agony. The only way that I could stop the pain was to stop running but I kept on running.
I run, every now and then when things in life get tough. Every stride I take releases more stress and anger in my body. I was now panting, sweat gathered round my chest making my white cotton tee-shirt wet. I could now feel the force of the cool November air as I was making my way down hill. Maybe I shouldn’t have lost my temper with my mum. I could remember the scene at home just fifteen minutes ago which made me very angry. ” You’ve got three English essays to do and you are sitting here watching television!” I recall my mum saying. She just came home from a twelve hour shift from the hospital; physically and emotionally she was very exhausted – it’s a stressful job being a doctor. Then she found me in the living room watching television – usually she doesn’t say anything about that, but when I have three pieces of coursework due, she gets angry. ”
You have got to take some responsibility of your own,” I recall her uttering. I can still remember her brown weary eyes looking at me and the expression on her face represented someone who was tired and disappointed. Disappointed to find her only child watching television at a time when he really should be catching up with work – to be honest I don’t blame her for getting angry. “Just trust me,” I remember my self pleading, ” You know I will do it.” ” When will u do it!”, I think my mum said, ” I know when you’ll do it, you’ll do it at the very last minute, you’ll stay up till about two o clock in the morning doing it and this will affect the quality of your essays!.”
It was getting colder – maybe I should have worn something more instead of my plain white tee-shirt and my rugby shorts. I turned the bend smoothly and now was going through the final two mile stretch. This is usually the hardest part of the race. It depends on the amount of will power I have. This is the stage where the pain intensifies to such an extent that I could hardly feel my shoulders and legs. The only thing that keeps me going is my raw determination, my anger, my will power.
“Mum, God damn it leave me alone!” I remember shouting when she told me to do my work. “Just go and mind your own business.” I regretted the fact that I shouted. The expression on her face turned to one of utter surprise and disbelief. Her face reddened with anger, “Why do you think I work so hard?” I remember her saying. “It’s so that you get a chance in life to get educated and make something of your self!” She explained. “You don’t know how hard life is, it’s a harsh world out there, if you do not get educated you will probably end up doing a low- paid unskilled labour work, do u want that? This is when I got angry. I hate it when she says that she works just for me! This is when I got upstairs, changed into my training gear and went running!
Sweat was dripping from my nose; my breathing was gradually getting heavier, as I ran on the cemented pavement. I was tired, my vision was getting more and more blurry, and all I could see was the headlights of cars as they drove opposite me. There are two different characters in me when I run, one says: “Come on you fool, what do you want to be a mediocre or the best?, Run, run, and never stop.” I have no trainer to give me encouragement during the hardest part of the race; therefore I have to provide encouragement myself. The other character says: “Why are your running fool! Why are you going through so much hardship when you could be sitting at home watching television?” There is a constant battle between my two characters when I run. Sometimes my negative character wins and I stop running but in most cases my positive character wins and I finish my race.
Just three hundred yards left; this is the part in the race when I increase my speed to such an extent that I loose all my senses in my legs – they go completely numb. The only thing which could keep me going is my determination, my will to succeed and not be a failure. Another two hundred yards; “Keep running!” I shouted to myself, “No pain! No pain!” I kept instructing my self – in fact the only thing I could feel was pain. One hundred more yards left: “You’ve done it! Come on!”
Finally I finished my run -I was outside my house and I was heavily breathing and sweating. Throughout the whole race all I suffered was pain and anguish- there was times when I thought I was going to stop. However I endeavoured to accomplish the goal I had set for myself. Now all I could feel was complete satisfaction. Maybe, if I set the same attitude towards school work and if I finish tasks in time I would be feeling the same level of satisfaction as I am feeling now. I looked up and saw my mother standing in front of me. “Released all your anger have you?” she asked with a smile on her face.
“Yes, I’m calm now!” I replied.
“Come on then, I’ll make you a cup of tea and then you can get started on your essays!” It’s bizarre how the whole atmosphere changes after a four mile run.
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