My Class

Stepping off the lightrail, I felt like I should be breaking a long line of tape.

It was my first day of college. And there I was, all prepped out, ready for class. I had all the things I thought were neccesary for college: my laptop, several pens, a 500-pound biology book, a cynical and all-knowing attitude, the works. I felt like I was done, that life was a race that you won by entering college.

So much to learn.

I finally shuffled my way to my biology class, and settled into my seat as the professor, short-haired, grayed, and earringed, began class.

"Today," he said, "is your first day of medical school."

I stifled my laughter very quickly once I realized the room was silent.

I wasn't at the end of a long race; I was at the beginning, all over again. I was on a track that loops in circles. You run, run, and run, ad infinitum. Four years ago, I was a freshman. Now i'm lining up at the start again, without even enough time between races to take a breath.

To be honest, I'm getting a little sick of these starting blocks. I'm worn down with all of the hurdles I've jumped, and now they're getting higher. So is this is? I just keep sprinting towards what I think is the finish line, realizing it was simply the beginning of another race?

Race to college. To med school. To a job. To a promotion. To a family. To getting my kids to college. To retirement. To death?

It was the lightrail home that saved me. iPod buds in each ear, I stared forlornly at the map painted on the ceiling, waiting for the pleasant female voice to announce I was home, when the giant metaphor I was riding hit me.

Life isn't the race. It isn't in the hurdles or the turns or even in the finish line. It's in you. Your will, your passion, your goals that keep you going when you're lost past your ability to move. That's life.

The question isn't who finishes first, who you beat, or even where your finish line is.

The question is, what's worth racing for?

Figure that out, line up at the blocks, and wait for the starting pistol. Run fast. Run hard. Run with love.


-Kyle McDaniel

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