Personal Learning Experience Essay

Running track probably benefited me more than most people. When I ran track I just didn’t benefit from the physical exercise, but track benefitted me in many other ways I didn’t come to realize until I did a little self examination on myself. Looking back I realized track didn’t just make me more powerful physically. It also learned that it made me more powerful mentally. Through track I also learned how competitive I am. If I didn’t run track I don’t know if I’d be as physically and mentally powerful, or if I’d be as competitive.

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Track taught me how competitive I was. My competitiveness is the major factor I tried out for the track team my 7th grade year of middle school. I had a friend named Jamille who was known to be one of the fastest guys in school. So wanting to know where I stood in terms of running I challenged him to a race, but after countless races we couldn’t decide on who was fastest.

Due to the results of our races and the fact that Jamille’s mom was a track star; Jamille announced he was going to join the track team and become faster than me.

I was convinced he would indeed become faster if he joined and I didn’t, so I decided to join the track team also for the sole purpose of beating my rival. My reason of joining the track team exemplified how competitive I was. Track also brought out the competitor in me through the races. Although it was Jamille and I first year running track he was better at it. I ran the same event he did so we could compete against each other, but he beat me every time initially, so I started to do extra training, like running around the block in my neighborhood and doing pushups and sit-ups daily.

Because of my effort I was able to beat my rival in one of the two races we shared by the end of the season. I never realized I was so competitive until running track. Never would have thought I would commit to a sport team and then train harder at it just to best someone. Track defiantly taught me mental toughness. My middle school track was a filled with rocks and was made out of old cracking cement. That track was hard on your feet and wasn’t good to run on, yet the coaches ran us to death. During the beginning of the season our track team was big, we had a lot of talent and the future was looking bright.

But our practices were so hard, most of our team quit. The ones, who stayed, weren’t necessarily the strongest physically, but they were defiantly the strongest mentally. It took commitment to come to practice every day knowing you’re going to run on a hard track that gives you shin splints. Shin splints can get so bad it hurts to walk. Which mine did, but because of my competitiveness and my father, who wouldn’t allow me to quit. I built a mental toughness that allowed me to endure the pain of shin splints, and to run hard even though I was in physical pain all the time.

Any good track runners were mentally tough because you needed to be in order to win races. Your always told to push it at the end of the race, little do most people know how hard that is. By the time your race is coming to a close your already dog tired, panting, legs on fire, shoulders on fire from swinging your arms, it just feels like your bodies shutting down. It takes a lot of mental strength to not only keep running, but to run faster. your body is literally telling you to stop. It takes a tremendous amount of mental strength to go against your body’s wishes and run faster.

But doing so breaks those mental barriers and it becomes a little easier. Running track gave me enough strength to break my mental barriers. Track defiantly made me physically strong and taught me how to endure physical pain. I didn’t realize it initially because during track season I was sore, tired, and because of the shin splints, I was in pain a lot also a lot of the time. But after my first year of track I noticed I had a nice set of muscles and seemingly boundless energy. My mile time came down from somewhere around 9 minutes at tryouts to 6 minutes by the end of the season.

Track taught me how to handle being in pain during workouts. I adjusted to the newfound pain by welcoming it. I told myself if I wasn’t in pain after a workout, then I didn’t work hard enough. Track taught me to change pain from a burden to an indicator that I’m doing what I’m supposed to. Running track was a learning experience. The lessons I’ve learned from running track make me who I am today. It helped make me into a competitive, physically and mentally strong young man. Back in 7th grade my first year running track, I sometimes contemplating quitting. I’m happy I never did.

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