Alone in My Head

Andrew - Groton, Massachusetts
Entered on April 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

Alone in My Head

Currently, I am in my second year of boarding school, and I have competed on the cross-country team for two

seasons, my first year as twelfth on Junior Varsity, and my second year as fifth on Junior Varsity. I have also

finished in the top fifteen in Class C NEPSTA Junior Varsity race. Outside of Cross-country, I have participated in

Winter Running, an activity offered by my school to the runners who challenge the cold New England winters, and

train for a Half Marathon or a 20 mile race. I completed the Half Marathon second in the seventeen and under age

group. But this is not why I run. When I need to think, I run. When I need get away, I run. When I am bored, I

run. I love to run. For me, running has become a cure-all of sorts, but, at first, I did not see how running could

help me.

At my elementary school in Florida, every fifth grade student was required to participate in Physical Education or

P.E. as we called it. The class differed from the rest of the day including favorite games like, capture the flag,

all-ball, bombardment, flag football, and kickball, but, in the spring, P.E. also meant The Mile. For the next two

years, I dreaded the day we would run The Mile. Then, after seventh grade, my family moved and with the change The

Mile disappeared.

In the fall of eighth grade, I decided to play soccer for the third straight year. I showed up to practice

with no cleats, no soccer socks, and no shin guards. Everybody was required to try out for Junior Varsity, but

after two days of tryouts, to no surprise, I was placed on Thirds Soccer. After the first day of Thirds Soccer

practice, I realized soccer was not the right sport for me. The only choices left were: Football and Cross-Country.

Being five feet and eight inches, and weighing a little less than one hundred twenty pounds, I did not have the

optimal football physique. Therefore, even with my previous experiences, I decided to do Cross-Country.

My first practice was a run named ‘The Ditch’ which people say is five miles long. After running five times

as long as I had ever ran before, I was exhausted and hated running even more. Well, that would be logical, but

instead I loved it. The run was through the local forest, and along a river, and it was a beautiful day, but my

favorite part of the run, was the chance to get away from tests, homework, and the people I spend every hour with,

and be alone.

I believe everybody needs time away from everyday rushes. Spending my days at a busy boarding school, where all but

a few hours each day are planned out for me, a little time to be alone in my head recharges me and allows me to

endure the busy days to come.