Miami, Florida: The Hunger to Compete

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Miami, Florida: The Hunger to Compete

The heat. Whew. Not one of the best aspects of South Florida. But then again – isn’t that why people come running to the beaches of Miami? I’ve lived in Miami for practically my entire life. The things I remember most are the scorching heat, muddy 5k races and hunger of city businesses. Miami, well it has its downs – but it’s part of who I am.

Miami Runs in My DNA

Family and peers are the top two answers when it comes to “Who influences you most?” But honestly? I’d count my hometown, too. The high, bustling energy of Miami? It’s in my DNA. I am not made for the sedentary lifestyle – in fact, each member of my family would practically go crazy after a while of doing nothing. The vibrant night lights, the flamboyant creatures that come out, and the loudness of the city – Miami is anything but idle.

Photographers grasping a snapshot of the night life or the stunning graffiti at Wyndwood Wall? Appreciating the graffiti art was quite common – and making money off it, too. In fact, my parents were among the professional photographers that shot the beautiful walls of the city. Posing in front of the graffiti art – I’d welcome in the strange faces and gorgeous qualities. Miami certainly teaches one to be unique. I’ve learned this throughout my years of high school. Capitulating to society’s habitual trends or behaviors? It just didn’t seem right.


Miami Beach

As I mentioned before, the hunger of city businesses is also a common thread of Miami. Freelancers, savvy business owners, thirsty entrepreneurs – we have it all. And my first job? Owning my own car wash business. I didn’t have a store or business cards – but I had the drive of a young entrepreneur. Today, I’ve bloomed into a freelance writer and blogger – and Miami taught me to do that. After all, its qualities run in my DNA.

At night, when I ran the streets of Miami, tasting the cool, refreshing air – I was reminded of the satisfying cross-country races. The humidity was bearable, the sweat was expected, and the bright lights were my motive.


Sweat and Tears

The active lifestyles of many people in my city have taught me to be active as well. I’ve been running, alongside my immediate family, for as long as I remember. Tracking through big parks, running by the water, and sweating in the gym – it’s a part of our daily lives. In addition, I was taught to seek competition with a savage hunger. And an even bigger drive for winning. Here’s what my District Championship Cross Country race looked like:

My shins sank in the mud. I hear the thump-thump of shoes behind me. And the breathing. My own heavy breaths and those of the girl beside me. My legs ache. Sweat tickles my chin and burns my eye. Before I can even blink away my salty tears (or sweat, I can’t tell which) – the other girl is ahead of me. I hear the screaming and chanting. Someone’s calling out my name. Desperately. GET HER!!! I hear. So, I pick up the pace, opening up my stride, and clench my teeth as I see the finish line. Almost there…almost there.


Miami Docks

In the end – I didn’t catch her. I was angry. Hell, yeah – I was very angry. I had been taught to treat winning like the water that quenched my dry, aching mouth. But, losing to the first place girl only made me work harder. For Regionals, I made it a point to beat her – and I did, qualifying for the State Championships for girls Cross Country.

Now, you’re probably thinking – what does this have to do with living in Miami? Well, fact is – my cross-country days in Miami are unforgettable. The city, with its vibrant personality, remarkable sights, and treasured memories, taught me to run my best races. When I needed that drive, the push to go one more lap – or one more mile – I did it because I was taught to do it. My city taught me. And it taught me well.


Miami Seashells

At night, when I ran the streets of Miami, tasting the cool, refreshing air – I was reminded of the satisfying cross-country races. The humidity was bearable, the sweat was expected, and the bright lights were my motive. I ran to the flashing streets and I did it repeatedly until I got tired. And not tired of Miami. I mean, physically and wholly exhausted from running.

Miami in My Future

I no longer live in Miami, but the city continues to run in my veins. It has given me plenty of life lessons and failures to learn from.

Emoijah Bridges

Emoijah Bridges

Emoijah Bridges is a young blogger from Miami, Florida. She started with little writing gigs here and there to save up for college, and now she has expanded into a successful freelancer. You can visit her at her website

1 Comment

  • Erika

    It sounds like Miami taught you well!

    July 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm