I had potential to do well that day. I had the drive. I had nothing to fear, I knew nothing but hope. The world was still new.
I remember the dew on the pristine golf course lawn. I remember the tension, the excitement in the air. I wanted to laugh. I wanted to throw up. I just wanted to run.
I was running the frosh race. We started our warm up late and couldn't get a cheer in before the start, so we did it in the first straightaway. The gun shot off, and so did we:
Where do we come from? We come from T-I-M-P-V-I-E-W, orange white and blue!
We settled into the stillness of footsteps and heartbeats. The top 20 of each race got an award, and I was going to get one of those--I had decided. I ran hard. Step by step, I was keeping with the top girls. I ran past the spectators, I ran around the cones. Step by step, I was behind the rabbit--a golf cart. And I was tired. Somewhere in that middle mile, I lost the pack. I fought to close the gap. My lungs ached for air, my legs begged for rest, and still my heart longed to keep pace.
I crossed the finish line. Relief not quite as sweet as I had imagined for the past 23-something minutes. Clinging to the flimsy flags of the chute, I knew that I had run harder than ever before. Waiting for the lightheadedness and nausea to pass, I knew I had finished a few places behind 20.
But I had set a goal, I had gone after it with my whole heart. I later learned how to run even harder, even faster. This was the wake up moment. This was the time I first knew to push past pain for something more lasting. This was my first race.
In other news, there are exactly enough talks from General Conference to take one every week until the next session in October. I hereby declare the beginnings of Conference Weekly--a more directed attempt to bring the words of the prophets into my life.
View President Boyd K. Packer's address here.