A View of Character

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What significance does the number 26.2 have? Why would this number be important to a 17-year-old high school senior? To many, this may be just a number having little or no significance, but to less than 1% of the United States population, this number means a whole lot more. To this tiny sector of the population, the number 26.2 signifies dedication, mental and physical endurance, commitment, self-discipline, and goal setting. These are only a few of the qualities it takes a person to be able to run this distance. This number 26.2(miles) is the official distance of a marathon. I am extremely proud to be among this 1% of the United States population.
“How is this distance come to be?” many ask. In 490 B.C., soldier Pheidippides ran from Marathon, Greece to Athens, a distance of 24 miles. Crowds cheering and many pushing him though, he made it. Later, in the 1908 Olympic games in London, the last 2.2 miles were added to allow the royal family to view the race. Training for and running two marathons (a third to be completed on October 11, 2009, in Chicago) before age 18, has helped me develop many personal attributes and qualities needed to succeed as a student, an athlete, and a young adult contributing to our society.
As a young college student, I anticipate the qualities of dedication, self-discipline, goal setting, commitment, and mental endurance to be important to the character of an incoming freshman. My planned course of study will require these attributes. It is my feeling that these attributes are not taught, but rather developed over time through one’s experiences and challenges. My experiences as a marathon runner have helped me to realize that I truly possess these qualities. When training and racing, I am required to draw upon these personal qualities in order to be successful. These marathon experiences have shown me not only the previously mentioned attributes, but also much needed independence. At the time I chose to train for and run my first 26.2-mile race, I was unable to convince anyone in my peer group to make this commitment with me. Therefore, I made the choice to undertake this challenge on my own. Because I possess these personal traits, I foresee myself as being a successful college student and asset to the university.

Since Spring of 2009, I have spent substantial time becoming familiar with and learning about the University of Florida. I set the goal of attending this school and excelling while there. As in marathon running, I am motivated to achieve this goal. I look forward to the opportunity of attending the University of Florida.





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