Topic: Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you.
I could feel the excessive perspiration on my hands building up as the gray-haired, overweight man held his gun in his right hand. My heart was racing rapidly as he slowly raised the gun in the air. It was only a matter of seconds until he pulled the trigger. Goosebumps blanketed my arms and legs as the cool, crisp wind brushed against my skin. The second he fired the gun, a hoard of high school students ran their absolute hardest, including me.
It was my last opportunity to break my personal record, run a 5k race with my team, and prove to myself that I was fully capable of finishing one of the most challenging and painful cross-country courses. As soon as I heard the gun shot fired by the official, I stepped over the starting line and bolted my way up to the front of the pack.
One-third into the course, my arms and legs began to ache as I ran on the rocky, muddy paths. My throat burned as if it was on fire from dehydration and the chilly weather. My mind went completely blank and my breathing was getting heavier and heavier. My competitors were passing me by as I gradually slowed down. I wanted to walk for a couple of minutes to control my breathing, but I knew I would have regretted that decision later. Walking was the epitome of quitting in a cross-country race. It showed the lack of motivation, confidence and perseverance a long-distance runner had. It displayed the absence of ambition, endurance, and dedication in a competitor. But most of all, walking in the middle of a race meant apathy, which brought disappointment to the team and the coaches. Trying to avoid this uncaring attitude, I continued to run on the harsh, bumpy paths.
Twelve minutes passed and I had 400 meters left to go and two minutes to break my fastest time. I gained my speed and momentum as I charged up the steep, grass hills. The obnoxious cowbells, zealous crowd, and encouraging chants and cheers boosted my agility, which allowed me to run quicker. As soon as I saw the red finish line, I sprinted with all the energy I had left in my body and beat my personal record.
The moment I finished the race, all the excruciating pain disappeared. The endless early morning practices and vigorous workouts in the scorching, humid weather seemed worth my time. I felt a sense of achievement not only because I fulfilled my goals during the race, but also because I learned the significance of teamwork. Although I ran independently on my own pace, I made prudent choices throughout the race that advanced my team. Even though I did not place, I endured the pain and continued the race without walking. I chose to be a committed team player rather than an apathetic walker.