Running to New Heights This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

June 7, 2010
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All my life I have told myself that I am not a good runner. Last summer, however, I set a goal to join the cross country team at school and make an effort to improve my self-image and my health. My first run was three miles and took me over an hour to complete. I felt discouraged, fat, tired, and out of shape. All I wanted to do was return my new running shoes and go to sleep! However, the next morning when my alarm buzzed, I rolled out of bed, laced up my running shoes, and got ready to try it again. It was that morning that I decided that becoming a runner is something I not only wanted to do, but needed to do, and I was not ready to give up.

Two months later as I sat on the school bus on my way to my first cross country meet, it seemed that everything was going wrong. I firmly believed that I would come in last place, pathetically far behind the other runners. On top of that, I felt uncomfortably exposed in the tank top uniform and shorts. Three miles suddenly seemed impossible to run, and despite my training over the past two months, I did not think I would be able to finish the race. In spite of this, as the starting gun fired, my feet quickly fell into the rhythm I had come to know and love and I finished the race. This spring I took my newly discovered passion for running to new heights, and completed a half marathon. As a senior in high school, going out for a new and challenging sport taught me not to be afraid of the unknown. I am proud that I have not only changed my health but am also now a more confident and outgoing young woman.





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