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A Challenge

“I challenge you to a hundred-metre race,” my arch-nemesis, Julius, declared. He had beaten me countless times during practice, but I wanted to prove him wrong for a change. “That’ll wipe the smirk off his face!” I sniggered, even as dread started to pool in my stomach. He was well-known around the school for being the fastest sprinter on the track-and-field team, while I tailed behind in second place— a respectable position, but not yet good enough to surpass him. Nevertheless, I shook his hand and said, “Challenge accepted!” However, negative thoughts flooded my mind. Would I be able to win? After all, Julius’ speed of light would guarantee a sure win!

Soon, all my friends and the teachers had congregated around to watch the challenge. “Oh no, I will lose and be humiliated in front of the whole school!” I muttered. Nonetheless, I turned my worried expression into a determined smile. To keep myself from sinking into self-doubt, I did some stretches and jumping-jacks to warm up my body.

Finally, the fateful moment arrived. The referee fired the starting gun and we took off like a shot. True to my expectations, Julius caught up with me easily and was in the lead! “No way I will lose! Victory, here I come!” I motivated myself as a surge of indignation and anger coursed through my body.

“Faster!” I screamed in my hand and in that instant, I felt like Sonic the Hedgehog. Julius was still catching up with me. My eyes nearly popped out of my head in sheer exertion. The war continued but the finishing line was within reach. Using the last ounce of energy, I zoomed past Julius! For the first time, I had passed the finishing line before Julius!

“Yi Rou! Yi Rou! Yi Rou!” The whole school was chanting my name! I stood there dazed. Julius, out of breath, reached out to shake my hand. “That was a brilliant match! I hope that I can race with you again.” Soon after, I collapsed into a heap as everyone came to congratulate me. They gave me warm pats on the back. I was so tired that all I managed to do was smile at them. “Thank you for all the support! This really was a challenge!”


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