Please critique my statement. Is it Interesting?

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
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Please critique my statement. Is it Interesting?

Postby DaveMT » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:08 am

I have the opportunity to write two statements where I am applying. One of these statements should show an event or experience that shows personal traits and achievement. This is that statement. Any feedback would be helpful. Is it interesting? :mrgreen:

I ran past the spray painted line and the “26.2” in the dirt with a bit of nervousness realizing my goal was hours ahead of me yet. The line marked the longest distance I had ever covered, a marathon, but today this mark was only just past halfway. I suffered under the thought of another 24 miles of running to the finish, but tried to put the line behind me as if it were just the starting line in an effort to push my muscles and mind to a fresh start. It felt great to be out past marathon distance but the fear of failure and the enormous distance remaining was beginning to set in.

The madness of running this ultramarathon had begun over a year ago. I had spent a fair amount of time researching the training and fitness needs to accomplish a good finish in a 50-mile race. I learned about and set up a training plan that would help me achieve my goal by the fall. I had spent the last ten months in careful planning and preparation. Miles and miles of training consumed the last ten months and several pairs of running shoes. What began as three to five mile snowy, cold runs in late winter had evolved in to ten to fifteen miles a day to log at least 60 to 100 miles per week to attain the fitness necessary to make the finish. I had altered my eating habits to incorporate a diet to build and maintain strength drawing on knowledge learned over the previous years of my running. Each of my days were laid out to plan food, work, a run, and careful stretching and recovery to maintain fitness, leaving little additional time for other activities.

My training was not without setbacks. Several injuries had occurred. A pulled leg muscle, sore tendons, and damaged feet and shins all impeded the progress of my daily routines. With each injury I carefully researched what was wrong with the damaged muscle or tendon planned for a quick recovery. I would patiently put off runs while I iced and wrapped and cared for my legs so they would not let me down.

As I move down the course today, the miles slowly go by, I visit with various runners as a way to pass the time. At this point, out past 40 miles, all the runners are made of a toughness and spirit that emanates their determination to see the race thru; talking to them fuels my efforts. So much work had gone into this single day; it was great to see my hard work paying off.

From the outset I had planned several fitness challenges to prepare for the 50-mile day. First, a mountain marathon, which involved running 26 miles over a course that climbed and dropped 5000 feet. The goal for the marathon was to build endurance and strength while testing my abilities on a difficult course. I ran the marathon well finishing at my target time boosting my progress and the success of my plan. Later in the summer I set up another challenge to prepare for the big day. This was a series of three 30-mile mountain bike rides with a 25 mile run on the second day of this four-day push. These were difficult days where I had to dig deep into my reserves of strength and mental focus to finish each day and rest and prepare for the next. The challenges were exhilarating and exciting as I finished each day with strength and exhilaration for the next.

Today, as I neared the high forties, the thoughts fell away as running required all of my attention pushing thru the last two or three miles. My legs were tired and heavy and I had to focus on putting one in front of the other. It took everything that I knew about running to get to the finish line, pushing through the pain and fatigue. It was so exciting to finish a distance I had long thought impossible! I had set a difficult goal that took great dedication and focus. As I sought to reach my goal I researched and learned how to make it happen and most of all how to put that plan in motion by putting in the work over the many miles in my shoes.

I have always loved challenges where diligence and determination combined with strength and mental toughness are the keys to making the end. I meet intellectual challenges in this same manner using optimism, determination, learning, and discipline to reach my goals and overcome challenges. On this day I felt great achievement and satisfaction.
Last edited by DaveMT on Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Please critique my statement.

Postby sethc » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:52 pm

Would you mind emailing me the Word document? Formatting/grammar etc. mistakes and oversights can really ding you if you have a lot. It's tough to point all of this out via forum-post. If you w ant me to critique it, PM me and I'll give you my email. I am always really thorough. However, note that I DO go to a low-tier school - just want you to be aware, in case that matters to you.

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Re: Please critique my statement.

Postby CalyssaT » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:00 pm

Hey, I like it!

Yes, it is definitely interesting. I think you have such a perfect topic for the prompt -- it certainly shows your patience and persistence in training for such a huge goal, and it's quite an achievement.

Running a marathon in itself says a lot about a person and this ultramarathon is very impressive. I have a lot of respect for runners! Takes a lot of both mental and physical training/strenght/endurance and I think you highlighted that in your statement.

Great story however I agree with the above poster about spelling and grammar issues.

Are you working on the other statement to talk about your drive for success, like you mentioned on my post? Just curious.

Good luck to ya! :)

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Re: Please critique my statement.

Postby DaveMT » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:16 pm

Any of you lurkers passing by can offer your thoughts. I know about fixing the tenses. will repost with that improved. Anything else? Is it interesting? boring? start ova?

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Re: Please critique my statement.

Postby LSATclincher » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:58 am

This is a great statement. It takes one, big accomplishment and incorporates many character building challenges along the way. I learned about you as a person. And that is what the PS is for. It's to show who you are aside from the GPA/LSAT.

I agree with the above poster. There were grammatical errors. But after fixing those, you can send this out today. This is a plus statement that will help your app.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to make the grammatical changes, but one thing stood out. Eliminate all exclamation points. Aside from quoting someone, they should not be used in a formal statement.

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Re: Please critique my statement.

Postby DaveMT » Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:43 pm

Thanks Clincher for the encouragement. I am reworking the grammatical, thanks for the note on exclamation points...I'd hate to get dinged for that.

I am reworking and will repost the next draft soon. Also, I have to submit a "why law school" statement to go with the achievement statement.

Lots of work.


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