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For most people, running is a timeless punishment full of pain and sweatdr enched clothes. Despite the large amount of people who hate running, there is a certain popul ation of people who are crazy enough to love the sensation of running. I am proud to say I am one of those crazy people. The action Of running is like a tiny environment in itself. As a cross country runner, I run up to fifty miles a week as part of my training for weekly races. Whether we’re sp eed training or running long distance, each mile contains a certain world that waits to be expl red.

The feeling of freedom feel while running is one that can’t be beaten, and is unique to ru nning. When running, I’m not worried about writing college application essays, physics horn ework, social media, strict teachers, or the worst one of them all, girls. It takes me away fro m the rushes of everyday life and strips me down to a simple outfit of shoes, running shorts, a nd my choice of running with or without a shirt. It’s just my shoes, the earth underneath me, a nd my body in that moment. In that environment I can run for miles and miles, forgetting about a

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II the bad things in life and focusing on how things will work out in the end. Sure the miles get ha rder, and yes the sweat can be annoying at times, but it’s all worth it. The small discomforts are worth it to feel my feet striking the ground. The unmistakable feeling of my calves begging to slow down is worth it to feel air filling my lungs. The sweat dripping down my face is worth i t to feel the happiness and freedom that comes with running. In its simplest terms, all the little aches, pains, and soreness are all worth itto feel that sense of joy.

It’s worth it to feel alive. The burning muscles, the wind, the feeling Of the e arth beneath my feet, the precious air that you can’t seem to get enough, and the pain all remi nd me that I’m human. With schoolwork, extra activities, homework, and stress applied by 5 different teachers and a coach, its easy to become a robot in a lifeless cycle that repeats itself ev ery day, and can result in the loss of remembering what’s really important. Thankfully, running is also my remedy for those stressful, and possibly horrible moments in life.

Feeling my heart pu mping reminds me hat I’m not just a lifeless student made for answering questions, nor am I one who can take on everything at once. I am reminded of my possibilities and my limits. My stress is also dissipated while running which allows me to forget about all the negatives, and to focus on just following through with my commitments. Because of running, I can actually feel at peac e in mind and body. In addition, I can feel free. Sometimes our runs are so fast, feel like I’m flying. The only things that can stop me at that moment are falling, and a volcano.

Sadly, runn ers usually don’t end to finish their workouts when faced with a volcano. But it definitely show s how determined we are, and that counts for something right? Volcanoes aside, it would take a lot to stop me from running. Injuries are al ways a possibility, and not being able to run would be lifechanging. A crucial part of my life woul d be gone, and a key ingredient of my happiness would be gone. Being confined to only walkin g would feel like chains restraining me from ever feeling joy.

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