I believe running can truly impact one’s life. I am not just saying running will change how one physically looks, but it’ll change how one looks at life. Several years ago I would have rolled my eyes if someone said that. As a girl I was never involved in sports, but my freshman year of high school a friend persuaded me to join the cross-country team. I had the notion that I had run a couple miles a day and then carry on with my daily life. Little did I know that running would have such a large impact on my perspective on life.
When I first started running on the cross-country team I just did that: I ran, period. I forced myself to get through the rigorous practices and dreaded the meets weeks in advance. As time went by I got over this terror and began to see how much something so simple affected me.
Running has taught me the definition of endurance, determination and to passionately strive towards my goals. I use to think life was just one big rollercoaster and I was just along for the ride; I wasn’t in control of where my “vehicle of life” was headed. Once I started running, I saw how the more I work at this thing called running, the more I improved. Something clicked; I put two and two together: the same thing is true in all aspects of life.
Oprah Winfrey once said, “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out what you put into it.” I believe this is true. All four years of my running career I dreamt of making the top ten in our cross-country regional finals my senior year. I worked hard to try and attain this: I trained on my own time, ate the right foods, and got plenty sleep. The problem was I still wasn’t feeling right, I was lethargic, drained, and weak all season. I found out two days before the regional finals that I was anemic. I was given iron supplements, but the pills take at least a couple weeks to be absorbed into my system, meaning they would not be of any help to me for the race.
The day of the anticipated race finally came. Towards the end of the race I knew I wasn’t among the top ten. Doubt filled my mind, how could I possibly make it? My body just couldn’t do it. I was tired and the last leg of the course was uphill, and on top of that, I never was a good finisher, sprinting just wasn’t my forte. But I knew I couldn’t just give up, that’s not what running was about. I did make the top ten (by quite literally a couple inches). It is with this determination and passion I go through life. Running taught me that. This is why I believe in running.
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