For most of my life I identified myself as a competitive swimmer. Swimming represented not just my sport, but also my circle of friends. During my sophomore year of high school I found myself no longer enjoying my sport anymore, which was very unexpected. As a result, I felt lost and unsure of what to do. After discussing this with my family, I recognized that what I still had a passion for was racing and competing in athletics. So junior year I decided to take a big risk and try something new - running. I didn’t know anyone on the cross country team and had never even met the coach before but I decided to show up the first day of tryouts with an open mind and gave it my all. Week after week I steadily improved and, most importantly discovered how much I love running. After the first few meets, I was moved up to the varsity team and I ended the season winning “all-conference.” Aside from running, I learned how to quickly get to know new people, assimilate with a team and lead a team by example. Taking a risk and trying a new sport was the best decision I ever made, and I plan to carry this life lesson with me to college as I join a new team with another great group of individuals whom I will help lead to victory.