Andie Shine Wins Poetry Contest with ‘Body & Soul’


Andie Shine’s poem describing why she runs won 1st place in the Crystal Lake Public Library poetry contest in April.

Senior cross country state qualifier Andie Shine submitted a poem to the Crystal Lake Public Library Poetry Contest. In mid-April she learned she had won 1st place, receiving $100 and a journal. Here is her winning submission:

Body & Soul

by Andrea Shine

When I tell people I’m a runner,
I often get a response that is utterly uninspired, obnoxiously unoriginal,
but meant in simple jest.

What are you running from?

Well, I am running from a lot.

Because if I run so fast that my lungs start to burn, I cannot even bear to think about the negativity that might hold me back.

I run until lactic acid replaces tears, and physical exhaustion negates my inadequacies.

I run until my body and soul morph,
when I am one with the trail,
feet in the dirt,
heart in the trees,
and my being begins to dissolve, leaving the extraneous pieces of me,
the weights upon my shoulders,
cold in the dust.

My legs are fires, fueling the flames of my journey to greatness.
My mind is a tool,
I let go of my inhibitions and run,
run from the past,
the failures,
the frustrations,
and the irritations.

I run until resentment subsides
and everything that once cluttered my heart
has moved on to make space for love.

I run from the paralysis I suffer if my mind fills with the toxins only my legs can release.

I run to hear my breath intensify
to hear my heart pump,
and to hear my feet fling clouds of dust in my wake.

I run to the point of exhaustion, because in the moments I feel like giving up,
I find the strength to let go.