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My first track meet - writing about an experience. Commonapp/Stevenstech essay

locuspoint 2 / 5  
Dec 31, 2008   #1
I took a shot at finally writing a big essay, and I need help revising it. I feel I put together a bunch of thoughts and organized them improperly.

Also, I need to shorten it to less than 500 words for my stevenstech application.
Any thoughts?

Oh, and the topic is just me writing about an experience: my first track meet.

With trees and houses flying by my window, it felt like hours before our bus arrived at the school parking lot. My thighs and feet felt extremely tight and once I stepped off the bus, relief spread throughout my body. I could finally move around, and I proceeded to reach for my toes several times before I joined the rest of the team. As the track got closer, my stomach clenched and I felt an all too familiar tingle. I felt weightless; my feet almost crumbled under me, and I could not command them to start the two-lap warm-up. When I finally regained control over my legs, I followed the people that I had just met three weeks ago and now considered my teammates. After half of my first lap, I took in the scenery: there were hundreds of trees recovering from the winter with fresh, green leaves all around me and the baseball and football fields before the entrance to the track had dark green turf. By the time I finished my two laps, my vision was crisp, clear, and colors were brighter than ever. My legs felt pumped and ready to take on the races I was sprinting: the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.

The chaos and organized mess of all the runners, throwers, hurdlers, etc... forced me to walk to the bleachers and ask my coach what heat I was running in. I heard the call for all the 100-meter runners and promptly jogged to the start line. The tingle in my stomach came back as I set my sprinting blocks to the positions I had become accustomed to in practice. The official yelled, "Ready, Set!" and I got myself ready to explode off my right foot. I awaited the gunshot, when someone started running - I also started and a false start on the other runner was called. All 6 runners in my heat walked back to the start line, and we got into positions once again. This time, the tingle no longer existed, and I was just awaiting the adrenaline rush to take over. I heard the gunshot, and I pushed as hard as I could off the block and began pumping my arms. At the 45-meter mark, I began seeing the entire race in slow motion and I knew then and there that it was moments like that, that I would live for and run for. Immediately, I snapped back to reality, and the race was over. I did not know the results, and I did not wish to know. I felt content and excited.

After I was done roaming around lost in myself, I walked to the sidelines and cheered on my teammates during their races. This was a feeling I had not experienced before. I continued shouting and encouraging everyone as they ran past me. Soon, however, the official announced the 200-meter start, and I prepared for another thrilling ride. I waited for the weightless feeling, which came when my heat was up. I wanted the feeling to be over and replaced as soon as possible, so I was twitching for the gunshot when I was in my ready position. As soon as I heard it, I exploded as fast as I could and ran my hardest. I heard and saw many of my teammates cheering me on and yelling, repaying my support. Their voices made me want to try even harder, and when I felt fatigue, I pushed myself and continued to run hard. I did not know that a simple "Let's go Pranav!" could make me push myself and achieve a personal best.

After that track meet, I walked away knowing that one person working in a group or a team can trigger a chain event. That one person can cause everyone to contribute and in turn, help him out. I knew that I wanted to be that leader as many times as possible in my life. I've applied the lesson I learned from the meet at every chance possible, and I have become a more productive person. On the ride home, I also realized that I had found a passion, and I needed to keep it close to me. I had been looking for something, and I had finally found it. Now, I run both winter and spring track and accomplished my goal of running for varsity. I hope to continue running competitively for that rush of adrenaline and those moments of slow motion that make me feel like I am ahead of everyone.


I know the end is squeezed in; I have no idea how to put it together well. I'm trying to show (not tell) and then reflect on my experience by saying I learned something from it. That it wasn't just a pointless experience I'm writing about.

Thanks to anyone who helps out in advance,
Angela629 9 / 86  
Dec 31, 2008   #2
Well, as a fiction, this might be a good piece of work regarding its description of the race. However, if this is for the college essay, i wouldn't be so sure.

First of all, only until I finished your last paragraph, i had realized that you were talking about team spirit (or is it chain event?). This clearly fails the topic.

So I suggest you rewrite the main paragraphs so that it fits the concluding paragraph, or rewrite the concluding paragraph to fit the main paragraph.

OP locuspoint 2 / 5  
Dec 31, 2008   #3
If I were to rewrite the concluding paragraph, how would I conclude it to make sense?
Would talking about finding a passion and not letting it slip away work? (as the lesson learned)
OP locuspoint 2 / 5  
Jan 10, 2009   #4
I wrote another one because I don't know how to change the other one to make it sound better. Is this one better as a college essay?

The topic is just writing about anything I want to.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 11, 2009   #5
Wow, this whole essay is very interesting. I like the way that you use long, continuous phrases and sentences. it's almost as if you write the way you run! I don't like the word "snatch" in this essay, and maybe you should change it. Also, how about:

This feeling -- knowing I can feel two contradicting emotions at the same time, enjoying life in multiple ways -- is what makes life interesting for me.
OP locuspoint 2 / 5  
Jan 11, 2009   #6
Hey thanks Kevin!
I used your suggestions. You're right, now that I think about it, snatch sounds pretty harsh and just out-of-flow. How does secure sound in place of it?

Speed has always been something that defined me, and it still is. When I competed at the Junior Olympic level in Tae Kwon Do, my speed enabled me to secure the bronze. Throughout my schooling years in India, Texas, and New Jersey, my ability to learn very quickly and apply knowledge just as fast often but me above my peers. In Track and Field, the sport I finally decided to join spring of my junior year of high school, I swiftly got into shape in one season, and now I am a varsity runner. Every time I moved, I was able to promptly find friends and capitalize on the strengths called upon by the community.

As much as I enjoy having the air blow in my face at every step of my life, I still am able to take the time to savor every moment as if I am going through my speedy life in slow motion. I remember details of countless events from periods of my childhood, some dating back to when I was only three-years-old: I remember the different tastes of fruits native to India, the red-and-green patterned saris worn by my grandma, and even the layout of the house before it was rebuilt. Ironically, when I look back into my past, I feel as if everything happened in a moment, yet took hundreds of years to occur.

This feeling - knowing I can feel two contradicting emotions at the same time, enjoying life in multiple ways - is what makes life interesting for me. It's similar to the feelings I experience when I'm reading a book: I spend hours reading the book; yet feel as if I'm watching a very vivid movie that takes only an hour or two. When I am finished reading, or living through a moment, I cannot help but simply think about the defining word. Speed is very relative and contradicting in itself. Fast can be slow and vice versa depending on the perception. I know the world is constantly changing, and by letting speed define me, I'm able to adapt, change my point of view, and welcome change at every turn in life.

Oh, and is the conclusion fine? I wasn't sure how to proceed after the book-reading, so I just threw in some sentences to connect back to "speed".
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Jan 12, 2009   #7
This is great and the ending is fine. You did a great job.

Good luck in school!


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