Dual Credit English
22 September 2014
The Blue Carpet An unknown person once said,” Sometimes the best way to figure out who you are is to get to that place where you don’t have to be anything else.” Everyone struggles to find that place, the place where they can be unforgivingly them self. I found it and that place became my escape and outlet in times of need. For me that place came to me by tired legs, aching feet and sweat soaked shirts, known to the East Newton cross country kids as the blue carpet. The first time I stumbled upon the blue carpet I was a mere seventh grader unsure of why anyone would want to wake up at the crack of dawn and run, but I was there despite my inner protests. Half asleep and mildly confused, I looked around at the motley crew of kids that surrounded me. Some who were young and spry like me and some who were quite a few years older with experience that showed by their leadership, but all of whom misfits of their own kind and all congregated at the same location with the same intent. The group was called together by a tall, gray haired man with kind eyes and a firm voice who went by the name of Coach Holt. Coach Holt was the first one to approach me and welcome me to the first day of summer training and to the unique world of cross country.
At six o’clock we began running on a back road that was covered with red rocks, dirt and dust that would have gave the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s a run for its money. We returned back to the carpet after four grueling miles of hills and with ankles that were barely intact, quivering legs
Hickman 2 and body odor that would have made a skunk plug its nose. Never had I appreciated a bug covered, carpeted concrete slab more. My sweat dripped down my face and soaked my body as I plopped down exhausted onto the outdoor rug at the front of the school without a single ounce of energy left. Not caring about the array of smashed beetles that was to the left and right of my face, or the aroma of sweat and musty gym socks that invaded my nasal cavities; I accepted the warm embrace of the worn out, rough carpet and I knew that this was only the beginning.
This continued for six years and as time went by I grew accustomed to not only the running, but to our meeting place and the rotating cycle of people who inhabited it. Over time I knew for a fact that three things were true: I loved to run, cross country kids were the mentally toughest people you’ll ever meet, and that the blue carpet was my favorite spot to be. It was not my favorite spot because of the color or even the people that I care so deeply for there, but for a reason that cannot be seen by the eyes alone but for a reason that must be felt and remembered.
Looking back, the seemingly meaningless piece…