Running. But from what, for what? Even on the cross country team, such thoughts cross your mind because you are stuck in both a race and battle against yourself, a challenge with your mind over how long you can keep pushing forward. I have been running for several years now, and am only just now seeing improvement because it is a complete and total mentality of the mind, how much you advance. I have struggled a lot with pushing myself, and still do, but after so much pressure and negativity in my thought process, I am viewing it more positively. I have completed every race I’ve run in, even when I thought I surely could not, and I have lined up with hundreds of kids all racing toward the finish. Having to do that used to bring me very near tears. I was so insecure, so petrified, just having to keep my legs moving. In my head there were constant whispers of, “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. . .” But I could. Even when I felt like it was over, when I felt as though I could face my mind no more, I kept running. This has impacted my life to the very fullest extent, as I now see that every challenge can be overcome, no matter how hard or huge it may seem at the time. I have learned to have confidence in myself, to trust my body to keep me on the right track. And the goal never moves. With each step, you get closer, and you will always finish. Running cross country has shown me strength both mentally and physically, and I understand that everyone is on a different level with their own challenges and race to run. All the same, I will encourage them to continue as I do to anxious opponents before a meet, to the people at my sides taking deep breaths before the gun ahead signals that first step. I will race against myself with resilience to the negative thoughts that wish to make themselves known, and instead focus on why I do what I do and who I do it for. I run for my school, for my friends, for my team, and above all, for myself. And you can believe that I will keep running.