This past week has been one of the most intense weeks of my entire life. Why? After my years of dreaming of running track for a college team all of high school and the months spent training alone throughout my semester, I am finally trying out for the women's track and field team here at the University of Southern California. For those who do not know, the track and field team at USC, particularly the women's track and field team, is currently the top-ranked track team in the United States. That's why my week has been intense. The pressure to perform is on.

I am still in the process of trying out, so I have not officially made the team yet, and will not know whether I have or not until after the two week tryout period. However, even just within my two times practicing with the team, I've learned and grown internally so much. I have always been a hard worker, especially in track, and have always understood the necessity of training, however, to compete on any collegiate sports team, especially an elite team, this has to be understood at an extremely mature level. So, although I always understood it to some extent, running at practice these past few days has really reinforced my work ethic and more importantly, my hunger to compete. This is a huge deal to me, personally, since I began to feel extremely blasé and, quite frankly, lost, my senior year of high school. Prior to this, track was always my sanctuary-- my place to escape from the world, and I lost that somewhere along the lines. Therefore, I have recently felt like I am running with purpose again-- which makes the killer workouts worth it in the end. What's interesting is I cannot give a particular reason as to what is specifically making me feel this way again-- it's like my mind is starting to get right when it really counts. I suppose it is my focus and need to perform my best that is driving me; everything I've been working for has led up to this.

So yeah, every single part of my body is extremely sore and I'm left physically exhausted, but I honestly expected that going in to the tryout process. I am putting in a ton of heart and energy into my workouts, but I gain equally if not more in mental strength and physicality after them than when I started them. I've found my growth mindset-- my fire-- once again. Now, it's a matter of having it last throughout the rest of my tryout period and beyond. Who knows, I might just do something completely crazy, like make the team.