At my high school there existed an elite group of athletes that was brave, foolish, and above all else a family. This is my distance running community. We suffered for four long years together, and made memories that forged us into a team. We were connected by not only the common struggle and love-hate relationship with our sport, but by a language that was used within our close-knit group, and shared common goals. I joined track when I was a freshman in high school, and spent my year learning to become a sprinter and long jumper.
This whole adventure started at a Goodwill. I was out with my dad killing time looking for deals on camping equipment. My dad is the type that likes to know what he has to work with. He is a tall skinny man with red hair that is starting to fade. I am of similar build with brown hair.
Everywhere I looked there were crying ten-year-olds. Boy, was I panicked. Year after year, I had grown accustomed to my daily routine as an overnight camper. However, this summer was different. I was back where I began my first summer eight years earlier in Cabin 2.
When I walked into the journalism lab on the first day of school, I was clearly in a disarray, but, then again, so was The Raiders’ Digest. I was, after all, a dazed freshman. In retrospect, however, I realize that this probably was one of the most significant moments of my high school career - it was the day I found a passion, but, most importantly, it was the day I found a home. My school newspaper, on that day and for many days prior, had been in a state of deterioration, slowly regressing in terms of content, resources, and, primarily, interest.
When I was six my blood was 92% Hawaiian Punch, 7.5% Slim Jim proteins, and .5% trace amounts of assorted Pringles flavorings. Every summer I underwent a similar transformation when my mother dropped my sisters and me off at my grandparent’s San Francisco apartment while she worked as a waitress on Market Street. Caramelized corn and sugar coated treats cleansed my sisters and me of my mother’s oven-baked broccoli and kale catastrophes. Words such as saturated fat, 5% real fruit juice, and high fructose corn syrup will forever define my childhood. Fast forward a decade and, while I vaguely recall marathoning the Powerpuff Girls and smuggling truffles from a closet, I remember two facts of life my grandmother taught me as clearly as I remember my own name.
A foolish teenager daydream especially for me is to become independent, which requires numerous stepladders and most importantly bravery. Primarily, it includes a stage of getting a license in which I consider it so essential. From the time I realized that American teenagers were capable of getting a license once they turned sixteen, I was constantly counting down my special day. Wistfully, I did not receive my license until I was eighteen due to my demanding schedule from school and sports. Since then, I have been driving everyday in the summer as well as in the winter.
When I was a child about 12 years old, I did not recognize that obesity was such a serious problem to me because it did not affect my life too much, and I never thought about losing weight before. However, with eating much more food and did not do any exercises, I was more and more fat. Until I was 100 pounds overweight in 18 years old, my parents probably sensed that I had have to lose weight because obesity would cause many diseases which harmed health. Therefore, my parents enforced me to lose weight. (to live better or..)
Most people struggle to lose weight, however, for myself that has always been the other way around. Growing up I was always the tall skinny kid and more commonly referred to as “lanky.” Up until my junior year I was never motivated enough to want to elicit change. I remember one time in eight grade when I was sitting in the dentist’s office scanning through a Muscle & Fitness magazine and thought to myself “I want to look the that guy.” So I went home, downed a glass of whole milk, did fifteen push-ups and sixty curl-ups, and went to bed with a preconceived mindset that tomorrow I would wake up, look in the mirror, and see growth.
Since elementary school, there has been one fact which has been true and has made me feel different from my peers. While in elementary school, two big changes took place in my life. One change was that my family would be moving to a new, bigger house, which was good news at the time. The fact of the matter, however, was not so happy. The positive mood changed once I learned that my dad would be working in Iraq.
It was going to be a journey, and I felt it would be one I would not want to spend my summer through. Little did I know that it would be an experience that transformed me into an independent and solid person, and it created an effect on me that lasted until today. I waved goodbye to my sisters who left the Sunday before me, knowing that that
I came as a counselor to National Youth Leadership Training expecting to teach kids to be the next generation of young leaders. I was dead wrong. Not only did I fail to build and form cohesive leaders, they taught me more than I could have ever taught them. My first teacher was Brendan. In the middle of one of the lectures, I noticed that he wasn’t there.
My social life aided me to be the best of who I was. I had exemplary friends who helped me across my hardship and gave me hope for what was ahead of me. I understood that I would certainly have not become what I am without their guidance and support. I achieved fame and esteem among the students of the school. I had become what I thought I could never accomplish.
I was so excited and ready to see my sister again. The day finally came when it was time to pick my mom and sister up. When I saw her I gave her the biggest hug. It wasn’t until then that I realized how much I took my sister for granted and that I should appreciate her more. After that experience I realized that I don t know what I would do if I didn’t have my older sister with me.
I felt afraid that there would be bullies or people who would laugh at me because I was a new student and an exchange one as well, I was not confident in myself, as a result, I decided to isolate myself. Even though people were being so friendly open to me, but that fear kept holding me back until one day, when I had a project in Mr Kring’s class: aquatic science. In this class, everything was fascinated to me, but among all of the topic, perhaps my favorite thing was doing the fish tank and recording their activities. I couldn’t describe how happy me and my group members were when we heard that we could start an amazing project like this. Unfortunately, preparing things for our species was harder than we had thought.
I never really had anyone to look up to in my life, and seeing how I grew up I didn’t want them to grow up the same way. I’m going to be something. Something they can look up too and say wow he is so successful and cool. Kind of a corny thought if you ask me but I couldn’t bear the thought of them not having a role model. That day was a turning point in my life I had dropped school, I was working a minimum wage job, and I was about to move out and possibly work at Meijer for the rest of my life.