Since I’m currently training by myself, I get to decide where I run. I avoid this road as much as possible. But during cross country season, when I’m at the mercy of my coaches, most of our workouts involve the road in some way.
Going down is smooth sailing. Going up is hell.
The road is more like a hill, a giant, mile-plus long hill. It’s on a constant incline and, as you get closer to the top, it gets steeper.
At first, I absolutely loathed this road.
I always hated it in the beginning, because it turned even my best runs turn into something that made me feel like I was putting myself through torture.
The road is sometimes unforgiving. The more you climb, the weaker your legs feel, the more your lungs burn, the more you feel like your brain is about to explode.
I used to fight it. Each day, I felt like I was preparing for this great battle, in which only one victor would prevail: me or the hill.
But, eventually, I started to realize that it wasn’t really a battle of physicality; it was more so a battle of wit. I learned to work with the road instead of against it and things started to make more sense.
I learned to take advantage of even the tiniest bit of downhill, to take the straightest line possible. I started to read the road, to take note of how it felt when I ran a certain way.
To this day, I still don’t like running it. But, I’ve learned how to do it properly.
The road used to be some foreign, intimidating beast that I thought I would never be able to understand. Now, I realize that it was really just an old, wise mentor for me, my very own Mr. Miyagi.
Last night, I was headed up the road on the bus and, as I looked out the window, I knew exactly what point we were at solely based on the glimpse I caught of the tops of the oak trees. It made me smile, seeing how far I’ve come.
The same miles of curving pavement that used to seem endless to me are now ingrained into my memory, including details down to which tree is positioned where on each corner.
The countless days of practice, all of the sweat-soaked t-shirts and aching muscles really did pay off, in so many more ways than for just my running.
If only I knew back then just how much I would come to understand the road and how much it would come to understand about me.
I like coffee now. I used to always think it tasted like fancy dirt water, no matter how much milk and sugar I’d put in it.
But, I really like it now. I like the deep, bitter taste of it and I especially like the smell of it.
I’m starting to like a lot of those things that I used to consider “adult things”. I like watching the news or reading articles on whether or not organic eggs are better than regular eggs. I like having red wine with my dinner (only when I’m in Germany, I promise). I like waking up early on the weekends, to get as much out of my day as possible, and even take in a pastel sunrise once in a while.
I guess I’ve waited for this period in my life for a long time now. I always imagined that when I’d graduate, I’d essentially be an adult. I’d be mature and responsible. I’d be a little taller at least and my skin would have cleared up and I would know how to do taxes.
Truth is, I’m still getting there. Maybe I won’t grow any taller and maybe I’ll need to work on my maturity a bit, but I’m on the right track. I’m transitioning, I guess.
All this is what I’ve been waiting for, and it’s exciting. But, I like coffee now and it makes me sad, because I realize that, soon, I won’t be able to be a kid anymore.
How am I supposed to tell you who I am in 650 words? Are 650 words really going to tell you who I am and why you should choose me for your school?
I am more than 650 words. I am 650 pages that are still be written. There are too many stories for you to know who I truly am from only 650 words. Only one small story will be able to fit in these 650 words, so don’t think this is truly me. Please don’t believe that this is all I am and all I can be. I am so much more than this small part of my life. The story has impacted me a great deal, but it is not the only thing that has.
When you read this please remember that I am a novel and 650 words will not do me justice. So college admissions counselor, read these 650 words and remember they are just a taste of what I could be and not all of me.
I’ve gotten myself in the habit of writing down my feelings.
I’m not sure that habit is the proper term, though. I’ve found it’s actually quite therapeutic at times to be able to physically sort out my emotions into something that is easier for me to understand.
When I feel angry or sad or happy, my first reaction is to analyze and explain it and then eventually sort it out into something that is comprehensible or maybe even beautiful to some people, sometimes I try to feel things simply in the way they are.
There are times when I can write for an hour, without stopping, and the result will be something I’m proud of. But when I find myself struggling to choose the right words, I know it’s time to put down my pen and just feel it for a while.
I’m constantly analyzing experiences, people, feelings. I guess maybe it’s because I don’t like to be confused, so when I don’t understand how I feel or why I’m feeling it, I won’t stop thinking it over and over until I reach a resolution.
I like to understand how I’m feeling. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.
But just like with my favorite books and songs, most of the time I just appreciate them for what they mean to me, even if I can’t fully explain why. And I think there’s something special about that too.