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I would like to be able to use this essay for multiple law schools. This essay falls into the "obstacles you have overcome" category. Please rip it apart!
I turned the corner of the soccer field. The tall trees stretched their bony limbs into the sky as if they were cheering the throng of adolescents on their course around the athletic fields. The ashen sky hung over the school and the wind tossed fallen leaves into a swarm of muddied autumn colors. I slowed to a walk and then paused, bending and resting my hands on my knees as I raced to catch my breath.
It was just another day in gym class – one that not only tested my will but also my endurance and strength. I was not up to the seemingly simple but impossible task before me: the presidential fitness test, which may as well be a nightmare for athletically-challenged students.
My entire life I struggled with sports-induced asthma. I never knew a recess without my inhaler, won a game of tag, or stretched a single into a double in kickball. An array of asthma medications had been some of my closest friends throughout my childhood while painful medical tests loomed behind every corner. The mandatory one-mile timed run was yet another opportunity for me to demonstrate my inherent inability to run in a timely manner. I finished ahead only of those students who refused to put forth any effort. I wore a half-hearted smile as I reached the end of the run, struggling to breathe and also struggling to hide my embarrassment. It was difficult to be positive as it my body worked against me. I did not want to finish next-to-last in the one-mile run anymore – I wanted to grow stronger and in order to do so, I had to work hard.
I began to exercise regularly and tested my lungs to their limits, jogging the length of my back yard until I could not go any further. I gradually increased the length over time and continued taking my medications, slowing strengthening my lungs as they grew increasingly more tolerant to athletic activities. As regular as the U.S. Mail, I worked tirelessly until the next session of fitness testing.
The next round of testing occurred late fall freshman year of high school. Ultimately, I did not finish the run next-to-last and was instead middle-of-the-pack, a drastic improvement. All of the backyard jogging and exercise had paid off, and though I did not finish first or finish in stellar time, I was happy to complete the run without pausing at my knees to catch my breath.
Afterward, I continued to run and test my lungs, leading me to join the track and field team. I pole vaulted, long jumped, and yes, I sprinted. I was never the best sprinter or the best runner, but every practice and track meet was a personal victory over my sports-induced asthma, a constant threat throughout my childhood. I continue to run to this day and have expanded far beyond a single mile, not only to keep myself in shape, but to remind myself that hard work pays off and that even the most impossible task may one day be conquered.
Whenever I run, whether it is turning the corner on a track, my neighborhood, or on a treadmill, I remember that one-mile run from middle school and the embarrassment I felt when I reached the end. I worked to overcome what seemed to be an impossible obstacle in a test of will, dedication, and ambition – an attitude that will follow me wherever I go. Now, when I finish a run, the smile at the end is no longer half-hearted, it is genuine and proud.