This I Believe

Judy - Austin, Texas
Entered on January 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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The Final Solution

I am a runner. My lacrosse coach will probably laugh at me if I called myself that. For a girl who reaches the finish line long after her fellow classmates, I am using that phrase as lightly as possible. However, recently, I discovered the joy of running. I believe that God allowed me to discover this joy in order to ensure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Even God allowed the founding fathers to have these unalienable rights by giving them the courage to declare their separation from the tyrant and his government–their final solution.

Unfortunately, the joy of running was not an instant sensation. Stress from upcoming junior year brought insecurity and fear. I knew that my future life depended on this important year, but I felt lifeless without a dream. With indirect help from my brother in Germany, I had a dream, a one that required running. A dream gave me life and soon, running became a part of my life. Three months away from school allowed me to construct a spotless, perfect junior year. After facing my first obstacle in the first week of the year, the plan quickly fell apart. The damage was done. I did not have a plan B.

I ran the same night I realized the inevitable collapse of the “perfect” plan. In the mist of heavy breathing, the pain, and the desire of walking, I forgot the problem. I became liberated from it. Running is a fight between the track and me. When I enter the battlefield alone, I am secluded from everything that ties me down in the real world–my family, school, friends, and obligations. I am liberated.

Obesity in America is to be expected. The statistics show that 2/3 of Americans are obese. Although some argue that there is no such thing as food addiction, I feel partly addicted to food. Thanks to my high metabolism and height, this addiction can secretly persist. I once read that only 3% of women in America have never felt bad about their looks in their life. I wish I was among the 3% of women, but unfortunately, I do not possess a model body. God promised me the pursuit of happiness, but he never gave it to me straight. He showed me the path, and I have to walk the path. Everything started with a new pair of tennis shoes and I began to run around in countless ovals–the track. Shortly, I began to see small changes, starting with calf muscles.

Running is not teamwork. The joy of running can only be found and enjoyed by oneself. When I run, I declare separation from my problems. Nevertheless, I will still reach the finish line last, and the coach will still laugh when I call myself a runner.