This week is my final week of off-season.
As cross country came to an end in November, I entered a period of free time following my long days spent at school. I was handed the ability to catch up on well-needed rest and take a short break from the endless miles and grueling hills I ran each day.
The months of rest and rejuvenation were a breath of fresh air. I could focus on my school work and even had time to spend for myself throughout the hours of the night.
But on March 9, the busy days will begin again. With the onset of track season comes new commitments and responsibilities; my beloved alone time will slowly begin to fade away.
As junior year unfolds, I find myself with less free time than ever before. I spend countless hours studying for the ACT and numerous nights with minimal sleep as I focus on maintaining high grades in order to be able to reach the future I have always dreamed of.
With the addition of the sport of track, a new commitment only makes my nights longer and eyes more dreary through the months of spring. As much as I appreciate the freedom and peace that running provides, the feelings of elation are only temporary; the freedom dissipates as soon as I unzip my backpack at the kitchen counter.
Throughout the year, I yearn for a break as the responsibilities quickly accumulate within my life. The half days, the weeks of vacation, and the summer months provide a mere moment of relief, but before I know it, the cycle begins again. My breath of fresh air is restricted, and I suddenly find my mind on a constant cycle repeating my daily thoughts and responsibilities. I find myself rarely taking time to enjoy the moments in the present: the moments that make each day unique.
The overwhelming workload and list of to-dos certainly take their toll on my body, but I know it is all preparation for the future.
The years of college and graduate school can be seemingly incomparable to the four, short years of high school, but the work and responsibilities I complete now are guiding me to be able to accomplish the years of education and work that the future holds.
As much as I despise seeing the clock hit two in the morning with my homework sprawled in front of me, I know that my growing work ethic will only guide me towards a brighter future—the future I have always dreamed of.