An Astute Athlete

Describe a hardship you have overcome.

Midnight. I peel myself from my desk, feebly creeping towards the scale. Whispering a prayer of desperation, I step on, my exhausted heart racing, and the reading declares a death sentence: two pounds over. That’s one power bar, half a banana, a slice of turkey, and a modest glass of water, yet that, too, is three miles on a treadmill, bundled up in two pairs of sweat pants, a thick sweater, and my ski jacket. However, with trigonometry homework, an essay on the Song dynasty’s social advances, and a diagram of photosynthesis all to do before class, there’s no time for a workout. Still, with a wrestling match in fifteen hours, that weight simply must come off. Face to face with desolation and agony, I persevere, as I always have, never quitting, infallible. Through the hardships of being a wrestler and a scholar, I have learned lessons, gained insight, and bettered my own character, for what didn’t kill me, truly made me stronger.

The sport of wrestling has developed three potent traits of my personality: self-discipline, responsibility, and the ability to deal with failure. Limited entirely by how much I weighed, I ate well below sustenance and lived in a persistent state of hunger and dehydration. The abundance of nutrition at...

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