This I Believe

Alex - boulder, Colorado
Entered on November 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

This I Believe

It was a hot day at the end of the summer when I was in the middle of a cross country that this belief of mine started. I was leading a large group of guys along a dirt trail while we were all going our hardest. I was doing everything I could not to let anybody pass me, and I’m sure some of them were trying there hardest to pass me. As the workout finished I thought to myself “This isn’t fun, why am I doing this?” I began to think why so many people, competitive runners in particular, put themselves through so much agony. I realize that the group of friends I run with are good friends of mine, and we have a lot of fun together, but why we enjoy running so much I couldn’t explain. Over the years many people have asked me why I run and I could never give a good reason.

I finally figured it all out earlier this school year. The first race of the season was on our home course and I was psyched to take on the competition, because I hadn’t raced competitively in a long time. Maybe I was a little too psyched. I took the lead only half a mile into the race that’s a little over three miles long. I went through the mile in five minutes and two seconds, way too fast for me. Going out too fast caused a lot of pain for me over the next mile and a half. My lead shrunk from ten seconds to where I could hear someone behind me. The last half mile is all uphill, until a downhill sprint to the finish. The last half mile alone had hundreds of people cheering runners along. Many people I knew, and all of my teammates were very supportive, because a guy from our school hadn’t won a big race in a very long time. I decided that there was absolutely no way that I was going to let anyone pass me and took off. When I made it to the top of the hill someone told me that I had dropped him. From the top of the hill I could see hundreds of people along the finishing straight, and all I had to do was sprint through them. I realized that I was about to win my first high school cross country race, run my best time ever, and do something nobody expected me to do. I then realized that is why I run.

All of my running experiences lead to my belief that everyone should challenge themselves that they will enjoy succeeding in. I think that there is something that everybody could do. It could be any sport, academics, arts, or even helping other people, just anything that would make them proud. I believe that all people would have a better life after having an accomplishment from something challenging.