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What sparked a period of your personal growth? Running competition; "should I just give up?"

madigrace8975 1 / -  
Sep 14, 2022   #1
Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others

Hard work and dedication

Mile 2. As I turned the corner going for my last mile in a cross-country race, I felt awful. And that is the understatement of the world. But as I just breach the corner I see my coach and as I look pale or maybe dark red and exhausted all he says is," you're fine, run faster". I heard that and almost lost it but that anger pushed me to finish the race with all I had left. I made it to the finish line and collapsed. Everyone has something different to say to you at that moment, "you did great", "you started too fast", and the best one "you're just too big and not built for cross country". With everything that is said in the span of 10 minutes my only thought is, it was me who just ran over 3 miles, not you.

A week later, as I'm sitting at practice waiting to start, I hear it again as we talk about last week's race, "you're not built to be a runner". What exactly does that mean, everyone has a picture-perfect 5'4 and 100-pound cross country girl in their mind. But no, I am 5'9 and weigh roughly 150lbs. But in my head, I didn't understand why I couldn't run as fast as all the other girls on my team. I thought long and hard and that's exactly what it was, I wasn't built like them. When I say this I don't mean it's a bad thing either, it just means I have to take a different approach to train. That's what I did, I started running the extra mile or even three miles here and there. And soon after I was becoming faster and stronger. But it wasn't just as simple as running extra. It was the constant fight in my head of "maybe if I just lose weight", "nobody else is running extra, why am I", or "should I just give up?"

I tell myself constantly to this day giving up is never the option. And that's exactly what kept me going. I devoted more time and energy to run, I became obsessed with improving not only my running but also myself.

Fast forward to the next race. I walked up to the starting line thinking," I've put in the work, it's against me.". As I feel the 1,000s of butterflies in my stomach, I hear the gun go off and there I go in a blur. But not a fast type of blur just an I'm so nervous everything is blurry and I'm maintaining my pace. As I'm running every muscle inside of me is on fire and telling me to stop. But I refused to break my pace, I have done too much to just stop and give up. I continued with being in more and more pain every second and again like the last run I turned the corner for the last mile and I saw my coach. But instead of the "you're fine, run faster" comment I've always gotten. I got "you're doing great, keep your pace", which took my mind off of running for a split second to think "I did it, my work is paying off". But I focus back in and remember I'm not done and it's still just me out here. As I finished with my all and learned I placed in the top 20, I collapsed at the finish line from exhaustion. But this made me feel accomplished because at that moment I knew I gave everything I could. After the race, I never got the comment on "you're not built for this" or "you started too fast".

To me, this wasn't just all about a cross-country race. For me it was to prove a point to myself, while also teaching me a giant lesson, don't give up. Words you'll hear your whole life. Yet they're the hardest words to conquer. All of this taught me to: push myself because I'm capable of so much more than I believe, not to ignore others but not to always take their opinions because they are not always valid, and to live in a comfortable state by doing what everyone else is doing isn't always what is right. Just because everyone is going right doesn't mean you shouldn't go left.

Hard work and dedication have always meant different things to me but as I grow and learn more, all they mean is to give your all, work at it, and don't stop no matter what.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,430 4691  
Sep 15, 2022   #2
The sentiment presented in this essay will certainly be seen as thoughtful and personal by the reviewer. However, he may be dissuaded from reaching that point of realization due to the length of the essay. It takes too long to get to the point so he might stop reading at the halfway mark. There just isn't enough information to keep him engaged. Most of the essay is repetitive in content and reference.

I know, there is a far larger word count available at the moment that this essay has yet to meet so the wordiness should be acceptable. That is not always the case. The reviewers look for interesting and imaginative essays that engage the senses to keep them interested in reading the essay. There just isn't enough information in the essay to warrant the word count. The overall essay can actually be narrated in a far more interesting manner using lesser words.

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