Racing Doesn't Always End at the Finish Line

Elaborate on an experience without which you feel you would be a different person today.

I am breathing heavily, not from fatigue but simply the anticipation of exhaustion. My heart beats fast, waiting for the sharp pierce in the air. Finally, the gun fires, and I see fifty pairs of legs begin flying, and soon realize mine is among them. I look around and see the faces of those around me. I question why I decided to participate in such a sport. Realistically, I cannot expect to beat any of them, and yet I hear cheers from behind. The people I have left behind, and will soon see again, remind me why such a painful experience will be remembered as one of the most positive of my life.

Some can find inspiration in occurrences as routine as a sunrise. On the contrary, for something to inspire me, it must truly have impacted my life in a profound way. Consequently, I find it impossible to select a single person who has influenced me significantly, for all who influence me truly deserve the recognition. Thus, I choose rather to describe a closely-connected group of people who, without their presence in my life, I would undoubtedly be a different person today.

Over the summer, my friend Justin, captain of the cross-country team, invited me to lunch. Expecting no pretext, I readily accepted. Unbeknownst to me, Justin's...

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