Why I Am I?

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I feel the burning in my muscles after every leaden step. I pump my arms faster and faster till I can feel them no longer. I struggle to come up for air as the strength in my lungs begins to collapse. I wipe the sweat off my brow as the feeling of exhaustion quickly spreads through my body. But through it all, I keep running and I wonder, “Why am I doing this?” I first began cross country with a heart full of bitterness and a mindset doomed for failure. I never knew that the thirty-five miles I would run and the twenty-five hours I would spend each week would turn into one of my most loved passions and one of my most hated obligations. In my naiveté, I conceived the foolish notion that I was prepared for the trek ahead, but I was wrong. Cross Country practices were complete torture as it was absolute pain and hard work. Every day at practice, I would taste the sweat that came pouring down from my forehead onto the top of my dry, chapped lips. I would feel the burning sensation in my sides and faced the feeling of my legs ready to give out underneath me. However, no matter how my body felt, I somehow kept going. Even if we ran in the bitter cold or faced the harsh elements, I just kept running. I have experienced pain beyond my comprehension, and the impossibility of surrendering to it. I have felt that inexcusable urge to quit, and the sensation of overcoming it. I have witnessed best friends collapse in exhaustion, and rivals surpass my personal record. I have dealt with

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