The lessons running has taught me.

There are few things in life that are as mentally challenging as running. Running is a way to relieve stress and challenge yourself physically. I love running because of the way it makes me feel. The lessons I've learned from running permeate into all other aspects of my life; I would not be as hardworking as I am without having to put as much effort as I have into running. Not only has it taught me how to work hard for something, but it has also taught me to never quit when the going gets tough. There are moments when I'm in the middle of a 13-mile run when I want to quit, but I have to put my negative thoughts aside and keep pushing. This is a common theme in life; you always have to keep pushing. When you are confronted with a difficulty, the way you handle something can say a lot about you. I understand that when the going gets tough, it is going to be hard, but that does not mean I am not going to try my hardest to conquer the task put before me.

When I tell people I am a collegiate athlete, they are fascinated, but when I tell them I run both cross country and track, their fascination turns into bewilderment.

Many people do not understand why I run so much or how I even enjoy it; people cannot wrap their head around the idea of running for fun. Trust me, I know how hard it can be, but I love challenging myself in all areas of my life. Running is just another one of those areas. Of course, sometimes it is difficult; there are days when I want to give in to my negative self-talk, but I know that I have to keep pushing.

In my opinion, running is extremely similar to daily life. There are days when I have easy runs, and there are days when I have to go run 13 miles at 6: 55-mile pace. Some days in life are going to be easy and relaxing, while others will challenge you to your very core. What I have learned in my 8 years of running is how you handle your challenges can determine the type of person you really are.

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