School: University of California Irvine
ALL WAYS UP FOUNDATION wrote -
It was extremely hot because of the summer months and I was wearing long, thick tights to go for a run. I was very nervous because it was my first practice, and I was going to run 3 miles. The Running Club was made up of members that had been running for a long time, and I was the “new kid”. As we began to run I felt that I was going to throw up and my muscles ached. I tried to catch my breath, but could not since I did not have any clue as to what I was doing. At the time, I really just wanted to stop because it was too much for me or at least that is what I initially thought. I started to slow down and walk, but my peers kept on telling me that I could do it, and it was with my little strength and all my will that I continued and completed the first practice. I continued to attend the daily practices after school, which was a big commitment that took up a lot of my free time. At first I would complain a lot and sometimes I did not even understand why I kept going to the meetings. I would ask the people in my club why I was here, but none of them could answer my questions for me. One day one of the runners replied to my question by saying, “Only you know why.” Maybe I did know why but was not able to explain it. I could have just been doing it to have an extracurricular activity, or to say that I was not a “wannabe runner,” but after attending practices periodically, I came to understand why it was so important to me. Even though I was the snail among the quick rabbits, I was able to get along with everyone. In doing that, it built my strength from the encouragement that I was receiving and I was also able to support my friends by motivating them as well. Every single time I came home from running, I felt so good and lively because I was challenging myself in different ways, and not just in academics. It was not just to add an activity in my college applications, but it was for my own personal growth. While I improved, my perspective of the club changed as well. With the changing view of practice, I realized that I would get butterflies in my stomach, but instead of being of nervousness, they were butterflies that made me feel happy. My foot would tap with excitement because every new meeting was another challenge and a chance to improve. I learned through time to just stop complaining and to just do what I had to do. I began to notice that my running and breathing technique had improved gradually. As my muscles memorized the pattern, I could push myself more and more. I got to the point where no one had to encourage me because I had learned about self-motivation and developed a strong will, which made me extremely proud of myself, as I was also able to encourage new members that joined the club. Running club is special to me for the reason that it has made me a person that continues to move forward even when life gets overbearing. It started out as an activity that was uncomfortable, but yet I adapted to it by learning how to work in a team, have self-discipline, and most especially create self-motivation. Overall, it has brought much happiness and passion to my life.