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 every tasty, delectable meal exacerbated my anguish, as I had to resist the temptation to nibble a snack, or sip some water. However, this mastery of my own subconscious demands has increased my stamina to persevere in any arduous situation. Also, wrestling has instilled in me a sense of responsibility to myself and others. My entire team depends on me making weight and supporting their struggles, as they are collectively doing the same for me. Through these sacrifices, I have learned to strive for success, yet setbacks inevitably delay my victory.One tournament, I failed to weigh my designated 119 pounds (down from the off-season 140), so I spent ensuing two hours running in the snow, purging both weight and disappointment. Since then, I have accepted that inadequacy and ensured that I always achieve my goal. However, despite any driving motivation, there are always other limitations out of one’s control. Though my mind was unrelenting, my body could not withstand the burden, and my immune system was overcome by shingles (the sequel to chicken pox), and I was barred from competing for two weeks. While committing so much to this sport, I have also prevailed academically, a combination that sets me apart from others. The intensity of wrestling and the enlightenment of education have allowed me to defy stereotypes of both the unsociable nerd and the ignorant jock. Fostering intelligence often neglects physical fitness, even general appearance, and such sociophobes may lack the interactive skills to function effectively in society. Conversely, an athlete’s dedication to a sport can overshadow his education, and he will have little motivation in life beyond the season championship. I continually excel in school, feeding my growing mind, while working towards victory. As a combination of both the determined athlete and the sharp intellectual, I have enhanced multiple aspects of my character, for there are few people of such a sharp mind with abs that are just as chiseled.  

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