Track: A Practice in Nostalgia


You have spent the morning in nervous anxiety, every drop in your bladder magnified exponentially. You’ve peed 7 times in the last 2 hours alone. Conversation is pointless, as you don’t really process anything anyone says to you. It’s better simply to sit quietly in your sweats, feeling the spring-time sun on your head.

Soon enough, it comes time for you to warm-up. Every last thing that you could worry about, any last thing that you might hold onto in your mind, must be ready to be shed, like the boosters on a space shuttle that fall away beyond the atmosphere. This is about the struggle to attain purity, integrity, wholeness for a few seconds in time.

You jog back and forth, increasing in intensity until you’ve almost expended the amount of energy that you are preparing to exert—but not quite. Just enough to awaken your body to the trial it is about to endure, to alert your muscles and blood vessels to the level of action they have been trained for. You have been training for months for these coming seconds of suspended reality.

Your laces are double knotted, your spikes are sharp, your hair is tied back, you’ve stretched slowly, you’ve stretched calmly, you’ve breathed deeply. The sweats have been put aside, and all that stands between you and eternity is the gun.

You step into your lane and fit yourself into the blocks, feel the clay with your fingers. You jump up and down and loosen yourself, and then eventually just stand patiently. Adrenaline courses freely through your system, you are literally shaking with the force of it. The gun goes up. You are poised with all your being intent, focused on the fragments of time it takes for the sound of the gun to travel through the air to sound in your mind, killing instantaneously all thought. There is no anticipating it. You must let everything go. Adrenaline courses through you like an undammed river, readying you for transformation.

The gun goes off.

Your thoughts are released, as your body takes over, as flight takes over, as instinct takes over. There is no crowd, no cheers, nothing but the clack of your spikes catching into the earth, propelling you forward.

The rush of pure flight. Pain and suffering rendered indisinguishable from beauty. This is the closest feeling to infinity you will ever come.

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Author: manderson

I live in NYC.

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