OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

(Personal Statement Examples, Advice, Critique, . . . )
DaveMT
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:51 pm

OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby DaveMT » Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:54 pm

First of all, thank you to the many people who have submitted feedback to my original essay several weeks ago. I have been in near hibernation mode with the LSAT and now back to buff up my PS's to submit. Thanks to norcalbruin and sethc and arjuna and lsatclincher and a several others whose names are not in front of me right now.

Ok so I have two essays to write. This is one of those two. The prompt for this essay is:

2. The second statement should describe an activity, event, or accomplishment and its relationship to the development of one or more of the applicant’s personal qualities (for example, writing and speaking skills, care and concern for others, initiative and sustained effort, commitment to political or moral principles).


Realizing my goal was still hours ahead of me, I ran nervously past the “26.2” marker line which was painted in the dirt. Although the line marks a marathon, it was merely past the halfway mark on this day. I shuddered at the thought of another 24 miles, but tried to put it out of mind. My legs were already tired and tightening from the four hours of running now behind me. Still, it felt great to be out past marathon distance.
The challenge of running this 50-mile marathon had started in late winter, nearly a year before race day. In those dark months it was hard to find motivation to run five miles a day in the snow and cold. By mid-summer this routine evolved into time consuming 10 to 15-mile daily trail runs.
Training for a 50-mile race requires careful planning and scheduling. Each of my days was planned in advance to account for longer and longer runs. The timing of basic aspects of everyday life that are typically taken for granted—such as eating, sleeping and working—had to be intricately planned around running and stretching. Diet, rest and exercise fit together like a puzzle and if one piece was out of place then the puzzle fell apart. For example, eating too late in the day did not provide enough time for digestion, which reduced the amount of time available for a run and proper recovery.
My training was not without setbacks, and I suffered several injuries. A pulled leg muscle, damaged feet and shins, and sore tendons all had to be tended to while I balanced recovery with pushing for longer and longer training runs. With each injury I researched what was wrong with the damaged muscle or tendon and reorganized my training schedule to allow for recovery. It was agonizing to sit idle and nurse injuries as critical training days slipped past. Nevertheless, if I didn’t take care of my injuries I would not be able to start the race, let alone finish it.
From the outset I planned several benchmarks 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 of four hours. Later in the summer I completed a series of three 30-mile bike rides and another 25 mile run during a four-day push. Based on my research, the key to building endurance was stringing together multiple consecutive days of rigorous training. These training sessions teach the body to work hard without the benefit of recovery. These were difficult days where I had to dig deep into my reserves of strength and mental focus to finish each day and prepare for the next.
On race day, as the miles went slowly by, I paced with other runners as we all moved closer to the finish. By the 40-mile mark the remaining runners were made of a toughness and spirit that pushed me to see the race through. They were friendly and offered encouragement. Still, it was really lonely. Stuck with the thoughts in my head and the sound of my feet, I moved along quietly. As the mile markers came and went I was pleased to see my hard work slowly paying off. Nonetheless, every step sent pain up through my shins, making it difficult to move at a running pace. Near mile 48 I was so tired I hardly recognized my trophy wife Lucinna as she approached to run the last miles with me for some final encouragement. Focusing through the fatigue I found that I could run on the outside of my feet to make the pain tolerable. Lucinna led the way through the woods and hill sections and reminded me I was close to the end. People began to appear along the course and I could hear everyone at the finish. I knew I was going to make it.
In the end, finishing a 50-mile ultramarathon was a great achievement for me. Running long distance has many of the elements I love to seek in a challenge. At first, this goal seemed like an impossible test but with careful planning, research, and hard work I was able to reach the finish. The path there was long and filled with significant work and unforeseen difficulties but by drawing on my confidence, patience, and discipline I was able to achieve my goal.
Last edited by DaveMT on Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sparty99
Posts: 1433
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:41 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby sparty99 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:25 pm

This is not a strong essay. It is wordy and not succinct.

For example, "ultramarathon," "running now behind me",

You use weird phrases - "stuck in my head," "stringing together."

You need to contact that person who does those line by line edits on this site. This is not an essay that I would submit, however, with significant editing, you can have something worth submitting.

DaveMT
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby DaveMT » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:51 pm

Thanks Sparty for the feedeback. I think that I do write in a bit of a wordy style. Working on that. I just reposted another rework of the essay trying to clean up my other habit with verb tense issues.

dave

any other comments from all of you lurkers??

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby zomginternets » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:21 am

Changes in bold, comments in brackets. I think it has the potential to be a great personal statement, just need to work on catchier phrasing.

Realizing my goal was still hours ahead of me, I ran nervously past the “26.2” marker line which was painted in the dirt. Although the line marks a marathon, it was merely past the halfway mark on this day. [I think this is redundant, the previous sentence and the rest of the paragraph make it clear that you're halfway through a double marathon]. I shuddered at the thought of another 24 miles, but tried to put it out of mind. My legs were already tired and tightening from the past four hours of running now behind me. Still, it felt great to be out past marathon distance.
The challenge of running this My training for this 50-mile marathon had started in late winter, nearly a year before race day. In those dark months it was hard to find motivation to run five miles a day in the snow and cold. By mid-summer this routine evolved into time consuming 10 to 15-mile daily trail runs.
Training for a 50-mile race requires careful planning and scheduling. Each of my days was were planned in advance to account for longer and longer runs. The timing of basic aspects of everyday life that are typically taken for granted—such as eating, sleeping and working—had to be intricately planned around running and stretching. [The first part of this sentence is kinda awkward and wordy.] Diet, rest and exercise fit together like a [jig-saw?] puzzle; and if one piece was out of place then the puzzle fell apart. For example, eating too late in the day did not provide enough time for digestion, which reduced the amount of time available for a run and proper recovery.
My training was not without setbacks; , and I suffered several injuries a pulled leg muscle, damaged feet and shins, and sore tendons all had to be tended to while I balanced recovery with pushing for longer and longer training runs. With each injury I researched what was wrong with the damaged muscle or tendon and reorganized my training schedule to allow for recovery. It was agonizing [weird word choice] to sit idle and nurse injuries as critical training days slipped past. Nevertheless, if I didn’t take care of my injuries I would not be able to start the race, let alone finish it.
From the outset I planned several benchmarks 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 of four hours. Later in the summer I completed a series of three 30-mile bike rides and another 25 mile run during a four-day push. Based on my research, the key to building endurance was stringing together multiple consecutive days of rigorous training. These training sessions teach the body to work hard without the benefit of recovery. These were difficult days where I had to dig deep into my reserves of strength and mental focus to finish each day and prepare for the next.
[I like the concept of inserting the description of your training with the description of the event itself, but the transitions seem very artificial and abrupt.]
On race day, as the miles went slowly by, I paced with other runners as we all moved closer to the finish. By the 40-mile mark the remaining runners were made of a toughness and spirit that pushed me to see the race through. They were friendly and offered encouragement. Still, it was really lonely. Stuck with the thoughts in my head and the sound of my feet, I moved along quietly. As the mile markers came and went I was pleased to see my hard work slowly paying off. Nonetheless, every step sent pain up through my shins, making it difficult to move at a running pace. Near mile 48 I was so tired I hardly recognized my trophy wife [?? trophy wife??] Lucinna as she approached to run the last miles with me for some final encouragement. Focusing through the fatigue [<--weird word choice--consider revising] I found that I could run on the outside of my feet to make the pain tolerable. Lucinna led the way through the woods and hill sections and reminded me I was close to the end. People began to appear along the course and I could hear everyone at the finish. I knew I was going to make it.
In the end, finishing a 50-mile ultramarathon was a great achievement for me. Running long distance has many of the elements I love to seek in a challenge. At first, this goal seemed like an impossibletest but with careful planning, research, and hard work I was able to reach the finish. The path there was long and filled with significant work and unforeseen difficulties, but by drawing on my confidence, patience, and discipline I was able to achieve my goal.

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SMA22
Posts: 275
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:42 am

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby SMA22 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:35 am

Just a warning, distance running is one of the most common personal statement themes out there, and every cycle schools receive multiple essays on the topic, especially if it's a "describe an accomplishment" essay. If you're going to do running, then your essay is going to have to say something that the other 20-30 marathon training essays that cycle did not. I highly recommend shifting the focus from training (which is covered in many, many essays) to something more unique, and making this essay more transformative and personalized.

d34d9823
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:51 am

SMA22 wrote:Just a warning, distance running is one of the most common personal statement themes out there, and every cycle schools receive multiple essays on the topic, especially if it's a "describe an accomplishment" essay. If you're going to do running, then your essay is going to have to say something that the other 20-30 marathon training essays that cycle did not. I highly recommend shifting the focus from training (which is covered in many, many essays) to something more unique, and making this essay more transformative and personalized.

How many distance runners are there? I feel like the average applicant is more of a distance coucher.

DaveMT
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby DaveMT » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:21 pm

Thanks ZOMG for the edits. I included the "trophy" bit for entertainment and to see if anyone gets that far when reading the essay. I really appreciate that you took the time to do some line edits, I think they are really helpful and will be incorporated.

DaveMT
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby DaveMT » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:25 pm

Ok SMA I guess I don't think that distance running is unique to only me in the world and I am OK with that. Do you think that this takes away from the essay or makes it less interesting? I don't expect to be the only one who has had this experience, but I do want to relate it to show some of my personal traits.

It does seem that there is a much higher ratio of distance couchers that are applying, but most of them are not writing about there training to hold down that couch I suppose....... :wink:

Is the essay interesting? I just would like it to do a good job of telling a little about me.

DMT

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:41 pm

A few minor phrasing oddities such as "The path there..." & "...stringing together multiple consecutive days..." that may irritate the reader. Clearly your essay shows a sustained effort in training for a 50 mile race, but you need to exhibit more care & concern for your writing skills as this writing seems to have been thrown together quickly & a bit carelessly.

zomginternets
Posts: 547
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby zomginternets » Sun Feb 20, 2011 3:03 pm

I think this personal statement (once it's been cleaned up) will form a solid PS for your safety schools and your target schools. For your reach schools, I think you should try to come up with a more interesting and unique story, because your PS is the best way to make them believe that your numbers under-represent your potential.

kublaikahn
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:47 am

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby kublaikahn » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:52 pm

Parts of the essay are very interesting. Parts are weak. You try to make the "preparations" for the ultra too much of the essay. I would focus on one skill that being a distance runner indicates, not five.

My first question is why did you want to run an ultra. That should be made explicit and personal. Did you see the movie, "Saint Ralph?" :)

I would focus on what it takes in terms of will and discipline to go that distance, and not try to make yourself into some sort of scheduling genius.

I like the intro, but I would make it about how crossing the 26 mile mark was uncharted terrotroy and exciting and scary at the same time. Talk about how your prep got you here, but feeling your legs and knowing that your body was now slowly dying, it would take more than great prep and training to get home.

Maybe something like this, but cleaned up?

Crossing the chalk line in the dirt indicating the 26.2 mile marker, my grimace quickened into a smile—surpassing marathon distance, each step carried me further than I had ever gone. As I lifted my gaze to the waning light remaining on the horizon, my smile and confidence waned with it. I could not see the finish that lay 24 miles beyond my painful plodding legs and, feeling my quads tighten, the anxiety of what I knew I was about to endure wobbled me.
I so confidently attacked the challenge of running this 50-mile race nearly a year before race day. In those dark months when many find it difficult to get motivated, I began running five miles a day in the snow and cold. By mid-summer my pace and distance increased to time consuming 15-mile daily trail runs. I had the wisdom to know that training for a 50-mile race requires careful planning and preparation. I dedicated every aspect of my personal regimen to my training. Eating, sleeping and working had to be intricately planned around running and stretching. Preparing for a trial of this distance requires perfect conditioning—diet, rest and exercise fit together like a puzzle and if one piece was out of place then the puzzle fell apart.

But out here passed the marathon mark, I knew that was not enough. I turned to my fellow runners and they turned to me as we pushed and pulled each other forward. I will not give up, I said, possibly aloud, as I mushed forward. I need to do this…(now tell why are you doing this)

DaveMT
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2011 2:51 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby DaveMT » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:50 pm

kublaikahn Thanks for the great advice and getting to the issue of why?? I think that why I like a great challenge should be fairly explicit in the essay and sort of hoped that it was there......I will work on that and try to get it incorporated.

Thanks for you time and effort on that. I like some of your suggested sentences--excellent.

DMT

LSATclincher
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:09 pm

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby LSATclincher » Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:58 pm

Are you applying this cycle? You need to get this out asap. I'd make the above grammar edits, and submit this asap. The story is a good one notwithstanding the grammatical issues/awkward wordings.

The adcomms will like this story. If you can complete an ultra-marathon, you can complete the mental rigors of law school.

WAwork
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:39 am

Re: OK Swing away suckas. 2nd and closer to Final Draft.

Postby WAwork » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:21 pm

Great statement. Like LSATCLINCHER said you should get this in the mail as time is running out. You must have Mid March deadlines?

Good luck with your cycle.

WA




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