A good race

I never really wanted to be any kind of committed athlete before my freshman year in high school. Growing up in an area where athletics were extremely competitive, I knew people who succeeded by holding a mentality of animosity—by hating their competition. Although I enjoyed sports, this left me with a negative view of competition and I didn’t want to be a part of it.

As I entered my freshman year in high school, though, I discovered a sport I absolutely loved: cross-country running. Because I had switched to a new school and was seeing better motives in those around me, I realized that if it was possible for athletes around me to push for excellence, it was also possible for me. I felt spiritually inspired. I had the motivation to work, gained confidence, learned what I could do, and began to excel that year.

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