My arms ache with a painful burn, yet I keep plunging on, in this never-ending race. My shoulders are sore from the constant lifting and pushing, from persistently shoving myself off, attempting over and over again to get started and then plunge ahead.
And yet, I seem to have made no leeway. I see others bobbing ahead of me, getting farther and farther ahead with each second.
“Don’t leave me behind,” I want to scream, “Don’t leave me alone. Please wait for me! I’m still trying!”
But they continue, because it’s everyone for themselves. The strong, the fastest, the most powerful will succeed. The weak get left behind.
I try once more. I press on the oars, forward and down, in a circle. Sweat beads my brow. I could scream, I am so tired.
I meet only hardness. I move not an inch.
Ahead of me, the others have disappeared.
I open my mouth to scream, but no sound comes out.
“Keep trying. Never give up. Row harder. Row faster. Row farther,” I hear people say in my head.
But how can I row when I’m still on solid ground?
Can I get a helpful shove please? A bit of a push?
Sometimes…I just can't cross the finish line.