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Finding Pure Excellence This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Sports. What is the justification for sports? What is the meaning of it? What is a "true" sport? I can only answer these questions by saying that all individuals must seek their own answers. For me, track is my true sport, my justification, and my meaning. Track defines me. I do it because I love it. It's just me out there on the track competing against my own head. There's no equipment, no balls to catch, hit, or throw. Just run. Run hard. Run fast. Run smoothly. Just run. I love the pain of an incredibly hard workout or race. I love the sweat that runs down my back and neck in the heat of the day. I love to hear my bare feet hit the soft grass. I feel fast, smooth, like I've always meant to be. I love to hear my coach say words of encouragement as I run past him. If he's happy, I'm happy. Running well can make you want to reach the next level of excellence. Running poorly can make you more determined than you could ever imagine. Running teaches discipline. In this sport you find respect for your body and other runners who are out there for the same reason.

In this sport you train hard, work hard, put in your Saturday morning workouts at 7:30 in the freezing snow and rain. You go that extra mile to be the best, to be a champion, to make your coach smile, but more importantly, to look in the mirror and see your face, staring back, smiling, because you do what you love and you couldn't be happier. This is the justification, the meaning of all that is pure excellence. l


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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