My goals for college life are to be a part of a supportive campus community and to compete and excel in running as well as academics. There are personal and athletic attributes that I possess that would allow me to be an asset to a college running program. As a scholar-athlete in high school, I have demonstrated high academic performance in the face of a highly challenging course load. Cross-country and track have further developed the qualities of goal-setting and perseverance, which I have learned can combine to achieve results that exceed expectations. My faith in God has helped me maintain humility during times of recognition and resilience during times of challenge; and it has reminded me that the ultimate goal is to develop my gifts and character in a way that is honorable and in service to others.
One of the ways that my journey has been unique is that I have been forced to confront medical adversity as well, and conquering those physical and psychological obstacles has made me stronger. In the summer going into sophomore year, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune and neuromuscular condition called Myasthenia Gravis. With relentless training and determination to not let my diagnosis interfere with my lifestyle, I scored in every varsity race. I ran a personal best in the Orange County Championships—earning all-county as a sophomore—and led my team with a time of 18:34 at CIF finals. During sophomore track season, I posted a 5:21 mile early in the season before fatigue from my condition began affecting my performance. A challenging junior cross-country season helped me learn the true definition of endurance through trials. In a quest to lead our team to CIF state championships, I had ignored my body’s need for physical rest and attention. After the season, I scheduled a surgery to help my condition that I had hoped to postpone until after college, and with hindsight I appreciate all that I’ve learned throughout this experience. During my recovery and rehab, I had to develop patience and restraint, heeding my body’s needs as my teammates continued to run while I encouraged them from the sideline. I’ve learned to empathize with others going through injury or feeling demoralized. Though I have functioned as a varsity leader for years, based in part on running fast times, I was nominated and elected team captain for the upcoming senior season. With time, as I’ve begun training again, I can feel my body responding better than it has in a long time. Although Covid-19 has postponed my senior year, I know I haven’t reached my full potential as a runner nor come close to my true limits. I am excited to apply what I’ve learned to my senior season and my future in running.