Respect the road.

There is a road that I run all the time.

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.

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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 wouldn’t have believed it three years ago.


What I Want in Life

These are the things I want most in life:

Victory, purity, the sea, freedom, honor, courage, love, beauty, strength, future, twilight, justice, opportunity, rebirth, snow, grace, inspiration, sand, warmth, friendship, integrity, connection, spontaneity, innocence, compassion, wisdom, hope, sunshine, success, resilience, serenity, identity, serendipity, knowledge, genius, dawn, forgiveness, rain, happiness, strategy, responsibility, empathy, salt, passion, trust, wind, color, electricity, desire, truth, duty, innovation, laughter, music, generosity, bravery, patience, flexibility, glory, possibility, luck, clarity, creativity, moonlight, brilliance, the stars, loyalty, understanding, rebirth, absolution.

I don’t just want to breathe.  I want to live.

The Past is in the Past

It’s true. Sometimes, we just have to let go.

Life is a learning process. Learning about our limits, our purpose, our favorite types of candy, our soul mate, our best friends. We have been learning from the very beginning. We absorb the most knowledge in the first five years in our life. We learn how to recognize faces. We learn how to walk. We learn to smile when we are happy and frown when we are not. We learn from experience, from our mistakes.


But we also learn about avarice, heartache, anger, prejudice, hatred, poverty, and murder. And through the years and our experiences, these unwanted emotions begin to build, some changing us for the better, others blinding us from the positive things in life.

That is why I love this quote so much.

We must leave the past in the past. I am not saying that we must forget about our past completely. No. That would be unwise at the least; the past is what defines us and makes us individuals. It is our past that helps us learn and grow. But it is equally important to learn to move on, recognize our faults, and realize that tomorrow is different from yesterday and even today.

Leaving the past behind may be the hardest part, but life should not be bogged down by our past but rather influenced and benefitted from it.

Crunch Time

Who knew so much pressure could mount up on one’s shoulders? I’m trying to cram so much information into my head. The AP weeks are coming up and I am on the brink of crumbling. AP Calculus AB and AP US History the first week, followed by three SAT II subject tests that saturday. Oh and what else? An AP Biology test that upcoming Monday and an AP Writing and Composition test to top it all off.

I am beginning to think that I will not be able to get the grades that I want to on these tests. I will need to stay up very late and buy multiple Starbucks double shots from Starr Market. However, what frustrates me is the recent ruling that girls are not allowed to stay up to study in the girl’s lounge past lights out. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

I understand that the faculty is concerned with us staying up and that those staying up may have abused the privilege by eating food while studying or being on Facebook. I am not going to lie, I did both. But that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t be eating in my room or checking my Facebook for a quick five minute reprieve (because my brain cannot handle studying for hours on end without a quick break). However, I don’t think that the faculty understands that we cannot reach our goals of staying up to study and fully grasp our studies as well as do extra work for the upcoming SAT and AP tests in our rooms. My roommate usually goes to bed after a half an hour or an hour after study hall and studying under the small light of my desk lamp is very difficult. I chose to stay up. I want to stay up. I do so to get the grades I get and I do so to stay on top of things. But now that I can’t stay out in the lounge, I can’t study to my fullest potential.

It’s crunch time. This weekend and every night after tonight, I will be studying, studying, studying and praying my BUTT OFF so that God would bless me with the knowledge and preparation I need for this test. Ahh, maybe I should build my own personal girl’s lounge as an extension of my room. Ha! Now that would be odd.