The merry go round was in the monkey bar section. Its faded, red paint was chipping off of the metal. Eight kids would grab the bars, and run as fast as we could run. Round and round. One kid would invariably start chanting, "Faster! Faster!" in increasing volume - usually it was the kid who jumped on early, when he was supposed to be helping push.
We would run and push until we reached our maximum speed, the cheers of "Faster! Faster!" echoing in our ears.
At this point, the leader would yell out, "Jump on!"
I always had a second of terror before I jumped onto the merry go round. I feared I would miss my jump, fall on the sandy ground, roll under the merry go round, and get stuck under the base because I was knocked unconscious when I hit my head. (This scenario never actually happened to me, but I was so sure it would each time I got ready to jump.)
For half a minute, the ride was beautiful - wind in our hair, the world flashing by, all of our hard work paying off. Then it would slow. Before it had time to stop completely, everyone jumped off, and ran to the next activity.
I feel like that today.
I am running as fast as I can, but the shouts of "Faster! Faster!" are taunting me and my limitations. Full of fear, I jump. I keep my legs from dragging on the ground as I sit on the spinning base. Before I can fully enjoy the ride, it slows. It stops. I'm left sitting on the hot metal; wishing for everyone to come back and help me push and run.
I want to try again. I want to get it right this time. I want it to be a magical merry go round, and for it to never stop. I want to spin and spin until the world around me is an unrecognizable blur, and nothing can touch me.