Today’s writing prompt is about overcoming a physical challenge. When completing this writing prompt, be sure to avoid ableist terminology. And try to focus on important personal wins your main character has. Keep scrolling to see my completed version of this writing prompt, It’s All Downhill Now.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Overcoming a Physical Challenge
Today’s writing prompt was borrowed from the 20 first sentences to get you writing today post published earlier this week. The first sentence borrowed is: “He still couldn’t believe his body was capable of this physical challenge, but alas, here he was…” Use this sentence to kickstart your writing today. Try to write at least 300 words.
Keep scrolling to see my completed version of this writing prompt.
Tip for Completing Today’s Writing Prompt:
Consider a physical hobby you enjoy doing (running, biking, swimming, rowing, kayaking, …). And then imagine yourself enduring a temporary or long-term physical impairment, that precludes you from enjoying such a hobby. How would you feel? And what would you need to do to overcome such a physical challenge? To get inspiration for overcoming physical challenges, look at the examples set by well-known paralympic athletes. Also, look into ways to avoid ableist terminology when completing this writing prompt, to keep the focus on your main character and what he or she is doing.
It’s All Downhill Now by K.E. Creighton
[Quick note on my completed version of the writing prompt: I am basing it on a “she” instead of “he,” and I’m using the featured image of this post as inspiration.]
She still couldn’t believe her body was capable of this physical challenge, but alas, here she was. She had been training for months for today. Months. And before that, years. So, she sat down for a moment to take it all in—all the toned runners with bright-colored shoes lining up, the pop-up tents, the coolers, the onlookers, the volunteers with neon vests. And she was incredibly grateful and focused.
Two years ago, she was in this very spot, but she had been standing in the line with the runners, amped up and ready to move fast. She had trained hard and was ready. But she hadn’t been as focused or as clear-headed as she is now.
She had been the twelfth runner to cross the finish line out of thousands that day, two years ago. Her reward: a severed right leg.
She had been so focused on traversing the finish line that she had never seen the man in the red t-shirt with a black skull on it who placed the explosive, ever-so-slightly, to the right side of it. Okay, so she had seen him but hadn’t really seen him or fully registered what he was doing there. She had assumed he was a volunteer or a supportive family member, perhaps? Certainly not a bomber. That thought had never crossed her mind before that day. And now that’s all she sees when she sees a red t-shirt.
It took a couple of months to accept that her limb was gone for good. She wasn’t one of those graceful optimistic types of people who endure a tragedy at first–those types of people who smile bravely and don’t complain and always make funny and self-deprecating jokes to make others feel comfortable around them. No. She was bitter and mean and wanted revenge. Or a permanent out. And even contemplated murdering the bomber (who had disappeared from the scene before the bomb detonated) once or twice, and herself at least four or five times.
But then one day, before her spite overwhelmed her for good, she had a reckoning, so to speak, when she fell off the couch and her brother laughed at her. After she glared at him with pure malice, he looked directly at her and said point-blank, “Hey listen, little sis, if you had all your limbs, you’d be laughing your ass off too because that was just clumsy. And you falling just now had nothing to do with your leg not being there anymore. And I’ve decided I’m going to treat you how I’ve always treated you– like you’re the dorky little sister klutz you’ve always been. Now, get up. But tell me if you need my arm for balance.” Then he turned his head and went back to playing his live video games.
She had thought to herself, “How dare he call me the dork when he’s the grown man still playing games with his friends from down the street?!”, which actually made her smile. Because that thought was the healthiest, most “normal” thought she’d had in a very very long time. At that moment, she had known that she was still herself after all, even if she had lost sight of herself temporarily.
After that day, she started giving more oomph at her physical training sessions. And it sucked. And she still complained sometimes because it sucked. But then it got easier and easier. And day by day she was able to walk, then run, faster and faster with her prosthetic. And now, here she is today, getting ready to join the race again.
Her brother walks up, holds out his hand for support, and asks, “You ready to do this?”
“I was born ready,” she replies, as she uses his hand to stand up. It’s all downhill now.
[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]
Notes on Writing this Writing Prompt
I’ve always enjoyed the ambiguous meaning of the phrase, “It’s all downhill from here.” Because it can mean that things will get easier. Or it can mean that things will get worse. That’s why and how I chose the title for this piece of writing. Because it’s the same for all of us, based on the choices we make in life. For this writing prompt, I wanted to use the more positive version of this phrase, however, especially since the main character is overcoming her fears regarding her identity and fear, more so than the physical challenges she had to overcome.