Benjamin Hettick

Junior Writer

As long as Benjamin can remember, he’s had a book in his hand, and that book was soon accompanied by a pen. He spent his education writing whatever he could, from newspaper articles to research projects to material for nonprofit organizations. He resides in Texas and and is preparing to start a family with a wonderful woman. He’s looking forward to a life of reading, writing, and family, and hopes that he can be of service to anyone who has a story to tell.

As a Story Terrace writer, Benjamin interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.

Keeping Pace Together

“You ready?” I smile at Taylor, my girlfriend, stretching my legs one last time at the starting line. “I think so,” Taylor says. She continues to stretch, taking care to hold each position even longer than I did.

The campus where the race is taking place is familiar, but I need to stop talking and focus on the run. Also, Taylor and I are still getting to know each other, so we don’t always know what to talk about. It’s a small race and a smaller starting line, so a few dozen participants clump together as the official takes out his starting pistol.

“Good luck,” I say. Taylor gives me a reassuring smile, and she squeezes my shoulder. My body tenses as I gaze across the starting line. BANG! The sound of the pistol echoes off the buildings in the campus, and I jolt forward with Taylor at my side. We’re all amateurs, so most of us set our pace at around the same speed while a few more experienced runners push ahead. I slow my pace slightly to match Taylor’s.

“You set the pace, okay?” I say, surprised to see that I’m already a bit out of breath. Taylor nods, still focused on the race, but relieved that I chose not to join the others just ahead of us. We’re almost there, but my stamina is just about spent. If I had followed my instincts and pushed at the beginning of the race, I would be exhausted right about now. I’m just not as tough as I was back in my cross country days.

Taylor’s even more short of breath than I am, but she’s kept in step with me for the entire race. As the finish line comes into view, she gasps, “You can pull ahead. It’s okay.” I take her hand and squeeze it gently. “Let’s finish together.” We hear cheers from the spectators as we cross the finish line together, enjoying the dull ache of the run and the satisfaction of doing something difficult with someone you care about.

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