A scholarship essay.
Academics and athletics were the two aspects of my life I had tried to keep fairly balanced all my life. From ages 5 to 14, soccer was my main sport. It was my favorite way to stay in shape and improve my athletic ability. However, when I was rejected from my school soccer team freshman year, I fell into a deep, spiraling depression, and for the first time ever, I just stopped. I stopped eating well, I stopped exercising, and overall, I just stopped caring. From January to March of 2017, I had gained roughly 10 pounds—all in my stomach. It was disgusting. I looked disgusting. I was so ashamed and disappointed in myself for not making the team, and I realized how essential sports were to my wellbeing.
I tried out for the basketball team the next year, and, to my surprise, I actually made it. I had never played basketball before, but I was able to do somewhat well on defense and offense. That same year, I joined the track team, and instantly fell in love. From that moment on, track became my new passion, and I will continue to do it for the rest of high school.
Being athletic in my family really holds us together. Everyone in the house has some sort of love for being fit and active—this could range from my brother practicing 3 hours a day for football, to my mom and dad working out at the gym for hours on end. Going to my little sister’s soccer games or going to the gym as a family keeps us close, and also helps keep us in check. We are honest with each other, to the point we will flat out say to one another that they haven’t been working out hard enough and need to step it up. No one wants to live in a house with someone who eats like crap and only gets up to go to the bathroom.
Gaining all that weight freshman year was a learning experience, and the help and motivation from my family made me realize that having the body I wanted needed a change in my mentality. I lost the ten pounds a few months later, and as of today, I continue to lose fat and gain more muscle. Going from overweight to somewhat lean was a gradual process, and being active in my sports helped me get to that point a bit faster.
I am not sure if I want to pursue running in college or as a professional; I do know, though, that I want to work out consistently my whole life. Working out is the best stress reliever for me. I stress out so easily that it is absolutely essential that I have a form of exercise that keeps my nerves at bay. Staying fit and lean are great, but having a positive, confident mentality and outlook are my number one priority. Currently, I have been doing a myriad of exercise, including yoga, heavy lifting, intense cardio, and endurance training. My goal is to be the fastest female 400 meter runner of my school, and daily training is helping me reach this. Being out of shape is not my biggest fear anymore: being second best is.
Which is a good problem to have. I’ve gotten to the point where I can push myself to be better, and see the results of my hard work rather quickly. I’ve reached an entirely new level of athleticism, eager to achieve more and more. In the past two weeks, I have lost even more weight and gained visible abs. I can lift more, run longer, and do moves I used to find impossible like chin-ups. I say all this to say that working hard is something I apply to every aspect of my life. Even on days I feel too sore to move, I still get up and get better. Because this isn’t just a quick-fix to get skinny in a week. This is my life. And I love it.