I Don't Need Organized Sports for Self-Improvement This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   I don't play a team sport because I don't enjoy the mandatory practices and I don'tenjoy the stressful competition. I do, however, love to improve physically byexercising. I love to jog and do what everyone calls "boxingexercises," which consist of sit-ups, push-ups, crunches and jumping rope. Ilove to compete with myself instead of other people. When I jog, I can feel mylegs pounding against the soles of my shoes and the stress on my muscles. I amengulfed by the idea of improving my stamina and appearance. I can feel thestress on my joints as they hold up my weight. When I jog, my legs are no longermine, they are the powerful legs of a stampeding ox. I love the hard breathingpattern I try to hold the whole time, and the feeling of my heart smashingagainst my chest. These thoughts and sensations make me feel like a machine thatcan continue forever and not get tired, even though I do. Not even the sun orweather can keep me from carrying myself to the next step. The noticeableimprovement in my body is my motivation. I am proud of my determination andpersistence. I'm a self-supporting factory pumping out adrenaline and sweat. Theresults of my daily routine are promising and achievable with effort,determination, commitment and hard work. In all, it's definitely worth thegrueling exercising.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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