By Jessica Oberlies

It begins in a stampede.
Hundreds of legs propelling forward, fresh
And up for the challenge. The potent scent
Of gasoline as the golf cart accelerates, faster than it was made for,
Zooming along the uneven ground, struggling to stay ahead of the Power-hungry runners.
The tangible excitement rolling off the crowd
As they cheer to their hearts’ content. Into the woods we plunge,
A relative quiet
In contrast to moments ago. Pumping up the hills, letting the Momentum
Send me back down the other side, my feet nearly silent on the Springy pine straw, my breath coming hard as I fight
To keep pace with my competitors.
Elbowing each other viciously as we round the bends, each trying With all our might to set aside the pain and just…


Right when I feel like giving up,
When there is almost nothing left in me, Coach appears
With a bit of wisdom that will carry me to the finish line.
When the crowd begins to cheer and
I know I’m almost there, I just go for it,
And give it everything I’ve got.

It’s the feeling I love.
The end of a race,
When your muscles are burning
And your lungs are crying out for oxygen
And somehow,
Your legs just keep pushing forward.
They call it a runner’s high,
But there’s certainly nothing illegal about it.
I guess you could say that running is my drug,
And I’m addicted.

Jessica Oberlies is a Sophomore at Grimsley High School in Greensboro. She runs cross country with the Whirlies every fall and likes to inspire others with her articles, short stories and poems.