Competition Who?

There was a girl named Kesha. She was 13 years old, and she was exceptionally good at running. She had a brother who was 7 and a little sister who was 23 months. Her mom was a single mom because her dad was in jail. She was on a track team called Infinity track team. She was the fastest on her team. She was so fast because of her motivation. She was trying to make her family proud and show her dad that she was better and wasn’t going to make the same mistakes he made. One day, she moved to a totally different town so she could be closer to her dad’s prison. She still wanted to run track, but she had to join another team called the Winners. They were terrible; she basically had to carry the whole team. She thought she was so good that she said, “If I don’t land first or second place against some other team, I will quit track.”

It was Monday and since she moved she had to go to a new school, a Quaker school. She made a friend named Zoey on the first day, who was a new student as well. The next day a seventh-grade teacher introduced her to another girl named Nyla. She was very nice, and the three of them became best friends. This school was different from all the other schools she had attended. Not only did they teach academics, they also taught life skills on Friday mornings. They taught her the importance of having healthy competitions. They explained that the only competition you have is with yourself. You may be competing against someone else, but metaphorically you are competing against yourself. You let your Light shine by doing your very best and walking away with no regrets. They said if you know that you did your best and you lost, you can be proud, and say, “I put all my effort into it, so I won!”

On Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays after school she went to track practice, and every other Saturday she had a track meet. All of the track meets in which she competed, she won. There was a meet that she was really feeling confident about. When she heard who she was competing against she thought it sounded familiar but could not think of why. When she went to the meet on Saturday, she got there early so she could do drills and stretch. Soon her track team showed up, and right behind them her competitors: her old team and her best friend. They locked eyes as they came running in slow motion toward each other. She missed her best friend, so they started to talk and forgot all about the meet. When the track official fired the blank, Kesha ran off so fast that you could see dust come off the ground. As usual she was winning, and she wanted to win but also didn’t want to make her best friend feel bad. Kesha was almost done with the race, just a yard from the finish line, when she heard her best friend fall behind her. She cared more about her bestie than winning. She instantly remembered that her Friends school also taught her about being compassionate and having integrity. She wanted to let her Light shine so she chose to go back for her bestie. Kesha helped her up, and they ran together to finish. Someone on her old team made it to the finish line first, but Kesha didn’t get upset or feel bad. She felt like a winner!

She stopped running after that, but she still never regrets going back for her bestie and now they are closer than ever. She even introduced her to her new best friends from school. Kesha displayed healthy competition and respected community values by running as fast as she could and by stopping to lift her friend up when she needed her. That was the biggest win she had thus far!

Note from the author: This story is semi-autobiographical. Parts of this story are inspired by my own life and my new experience in a Quaker school. Thanks for reading about my new experiences.

Read more: Student Voices Project 2019

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