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'three puffs of my inhaler' - Common app essay


Silverbrush 2 / 7  
Dec 25, 2011   #1
Can someone read my essay? And correct it for grammar and punctuation?

I take three puffs of my inhaler thirty minutes before the race like I do at every meet. Kids from the other schools see me taking my medicine and laugh-they don't think a runner with asthma can win a race with them, but I accept their challenge.

At the starting line at the race everything seems so surreal; the hundreds of people watching, my teammates cheering, and me in my ridiculous pelvis high, cherry red track shorts. I pretend it's a fighting movie-- when the boxer enters the ring for the first time, and he looks around to see the crowd yelling in slow motion. No sound from the cheers though, it's replaced by the fast thumping of his beating heart.

Then the gun goes off and my feet start to move. Right now I guess the usual analogy would be to say that I sprinted off like a cheetah, but a cheetah struggling in a race is just ridiculous. And so many things run through my mind, during the first few seconds, like is my form okay? Did I take my inhaler the right way? Was my start off bad? Perhaps this race is another failure in which I gain nothing for myself.

Halfway done and I think I'm leading. I hear another sprinter's footsteps close in on me. I see my coach cheering but I block out his voice. I'm too busy listening to the sound of my own. I can hear it wheezing, and burning. But my mind goes off to distant lands. I'm a soldier in Normandy during World War 2, I'm running through gunfire. Next I'm a childhood videogame hero; either a cop or a knight. And I'm chasing down some villain; responsible for the deaths of thousands. When I'm thinking of those things, it makes running fun, heroic even. If I can't be as strong and brave as a soldier I can at least be a good athlete.

And while I'm thinking of those fantastic childhood stories I've already crossed the finish line. I come first, surprising myself. Sweat floods down my red face but I'm not tired, I've ran races before. First, second or even dead last it doesn't matter. The challenge, the nervousness, the childhood memories, I experience it all, all the time. For it is the way that I have raced every race.

desm2012 6 / 36  
Dec 25, 2011   #2
you should change the first sentence to "Thirty minutes before my race, I take three puffs of my inhaler." The following sentences about you having asthma make the fact you have to take it at every time, pretty clear. and even if it doesn't, it doesn't really matter.

with asthma can compete against them

I think you should delete "but I accept their challenge." I mean, if you're racing, then you're accepting the challenge, right?

"ridiculous pelvis high, cherry red track shorts."
ridiculous high-waisted, cherry red shorts.
pelvis high sounds awkward

"I pretend it's a fighting movie-- when the boxer enters the ring for the first time, and he looks around to see the crowd yelling in slow motion. No sound from the cheers though, it's replaced by the fast thumping of his beating heart."

^ you should change this to first person, like
I pretend I'm a boxer first entering the ring, looking around at the crowd yelling in slow motion. I can't hear the cheers though, just the fast thumping of my beating heart.

Then, the gun goes off and my feet start to move.

Right now, the stereotypical analogy be that I sprinted off like a cheetah, but a cheetahs don't struggle.

So many questions run through my mind during the first few seconds: is my form okay? Did I take my inhaler the right way? Was my start off efficient? You want to present yourself positively, even if you are questioning yourself.

"Halfway done and I think I'm leading." How many meters is halfway for this race? Numbers sound cool.

I hear another sprinter's footsteps close behind me.

You should stick with one comparison- are you a soldier, a cop, or a knight? I'd suggest a cop. World War Two is kind of a serious thing that you don't want to put 'fun' next to... And then just elaborate on that one comparison
OP Silverbrush 2 / 7  
Dec 25, 2011   #3
You make some pretty good points on my errors. But the way you correct them take away a lot of personality, and make the story just a generality of all my "racing" experiences instead of one special one.

A common app essay isn't about confidence, its about an experience. Sorry, I'll try to fix those problems you found though


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