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Mental Endurance - Short Essay for Common App


jakejellings201 1 / 6  
Oct 24, 2012   #1
Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences
in the space below (1000 character maximum).


Two weeks before school we started our season. It was a hot summer day on the first week of practice; the novice coaches piled all new members into a group. Immediately they made us run five laps around a huge, grassy field. I wasn't expecting to run much; I had chosen crew mainly because I was light and small enough to be the coxswain and figured that throughout the season, all I would need to do is sit in a boat and direct rowers so the

boat wouldn't crash. I was wrong.

Two weeks before school we started our season. It was a hot summer day on the first week of practice; the novice coaches piled all new members into a group. Immediately they made us run five laps around a huge, grassy field.

I couldn't even run two laps around the field before I wanted to fall on the shaded, cold grass and pretend that I was dead so I didn't have to run anymore. I was so tired and hot that instead of feeling the sun emit rays of heat on me, I felt myself emitting the heat. The only thought running through my mind during the run was pessimism- why did I even decide to join again?

The coaches made sure that nobody stopped, but thankfully a shed located on the field shielded us from view; here we could inhale all the air around us and walk for a second or two before we had to run again. We finished and rested in a shade chugging and pouring down water on our skin to cool down. It was over. I survived. The coach left but came back telling us to run seventeen laps; the consequences for stopping would be to run more laps. At that moment I would have had preferred to run that seven miles to get home; at least I would have been able to have the choice to stop along the way. My heart was pounding in my chest as we stood next to each other in a line- the line where we would start and end. I was already reminding myself of the pain I would have to endure; I started to regret choosing crew as my sport.

He held the stopwatch in his hand, and told us to begin. My first instinct was to pace myself, and plus, it could be worse. Like the others, I could always take a break behind the shed when the coach wasn't looking. As I happily skipped toward paradise, the novice men coach was standing right behind it; the novice woman coach was standing right in front watching the girls. There were no blind spots where I could momentarily stop. This was definitely where I was going to die.

What kept me from giving up was the mental endurance that I learned from my coach. He told us that if we pushed ourselves mentally we could succeed. We ended up rerunning the next day because we didn't beat our time, and ran approximately 51 laps in less than a week, although it isn't a lot compared to cross country runners, it was definitely enough for me. Sometimes we ran as a group, other times individually. Those running

experiences strengthened my mental endurance. The whole idea behind the running test was to see who would continue even though they wanted to give up, because it's what we would be experiencing for the rest of the season. Not only was the sport challenging but so was the schedule. Just like most sports, we would practice weekly with only Sunday off, each practice was required and the excuse to miss practice would have to be a good one with three days notice in advance. To miss practice without a good excuse or to be five minutes late to practice would make the coaches furious. With regatta competitions we would have to stay late after practice ended to transport the boats unto a vehicle so that it can be driven to the regatta. This taught me how to be more punctual and responsible.

Rowing is similar to the concept of running, just as a runner can always run a little faster, a rower can always push a little harder. The only difference is that it isn't wholly dependent on a person but the whole team. I became a rower, so not only were we all different in size and height but we all had different mental endurance, and so if a team member in a boat decided to use less power in a stroke then other team members would have to make up for that loss - we call it pulling other team members' weight. There were times when I would be rowing in a competition and because of the pain, I would feel like jumping out of the boat, but I couldn't let my team down. After regattas- crew competitions- it was always rewarding to know that I pushed my hardest and reward myself with a hot shower.

Regardless of the pain, in certain situations, there's always a point when an athlete can get better. It's always about pushing past the limits. Learning how to push myself doesn't only apply in crew, but also in other situations as well. There will be many times where I'll experience failure, but to able to continue and hold a positive attitude is what matters.

- - - Is the essay a bit long even though the word limit is 1000 words? I feel like it's not very interesting compared to my other essays. Is there anything that I should cut? or maybe make the introduction more interesting.

dealaus 5 / 21 1  
Oct 24, 2012   #2
Hate to break this to you after your hard work, but it is 1000 characters, not words. Any letter, space, punctuation is a character. Good essay!
OP jakejellings201 1 / 6  
Oct 24, 2012   #3
Oh wow, thanks so much for catching that!
tenorzero 2 / 2  
Oct 24, 2012   #4
Thank you for replying to my essay!!! Now your essay is very good but the whole problem is the 1000 character part.
MermaidInAqua 1 / 1  
Oct 24, 2012   #5
Hello,

As I am reading your two intros I prefer the first, I like the abrupt " I was wrong." in the end, it immediately made me want to keep reading.

maybe, reword this a little better? "here we could inhale all the air around us and walk for a second or two before we had to run again".

remove down (after and) from "chugging and pouring down water on our skin to cool down". (kinda repetitive).

"The coach left but came back telling us to run seventeen laps" the wording is a little akward. also, "and plus, it could be worse" maybe change to "my intitial thought was..."

"the novice woman coach was standing right in front watching the girls." necessary?

Run-on: "He told us that if we pushed ourselves mentally we could succeed. We ended up rerunning the next day because we didn't beat our time, and ran approximately 51 laps in less than a week, although it isn't a lot compared to cross country runners, it was definitely enough for me"

"because it's what we would be experiencing for the rest of the season." you want to avoind conjuctions, but in this case it maight be okay because this already has something of a casual tone. and you might want to reword it to "because it is an obstacle we would face repeatedly throught the season."

You want to start a new paragraph right before this: "Not only was the sport challenging but so was the schedule"

akward, reword: "and the excuse to miss practice would have to be a good one with three days notice in advance"

maybe, capitalize "regatta"?

remove "ended" after practice.

change "unto" to "onto"

maybe reword: "This taught me how to be more punctual and responsible." to "This aspect of being on crew taught me to be more punctual and responsible"?

"After regattas- crew competitions-" you might want to note that regattas are crew competitions earlier in your paper, rather than at the end. Always assume the reader knows nothing (in this case I actuallydon't know anything about rowing).

reword: "it was always rewarding to know that I pushed my hardest and reward myself with a hot shower." (on a side-note, I know what you mean! i did swim)

reword: "and hold a positive attitude is what matters"

This is a very interesting topic! It's a great experience to pull from. Nice work!
Heina 5 / 14 4  
Oct 25, 2012   #6
To me, I think something is repeated of the two first paragraph. How about sum them in 1 paragraph? I prefer the writing way of the 1st para. to the 2nd's .

Are the 3rd and the 4th para. really important? I don't think so. To be in the limitation about 1000 words, you can reduce some unnecessay details. Readers, they don't mind about the coaches! They want to see more about the spirit of all athleles...

I like the comparison of the 6th para. so much! If you have more comparision, your essay will not be boring :D
Hope you can make it better !


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