So while running may seem to be the focus, there's got to be something bigger, more universal, and also smaller, more specific, that the essay addresses.
Understanding that an essay has to be about something is hard; figuring out what that aboutness is can be painful. In your closet you have 15 different pairs of running shoes. Are you the girl who is afraid of missing out and who, once she finds something she likes, will stockpile many boxes of the same kind of shoe?
After a short while, the moment eventually faded, but the lesson I experience from the race and the whole season will stay with me forever.
Summarizing Ralph Waldo Emersons words, we have to be motivated and work hard to achieve our goals.
When I work as a college counselor with high school students, I ask them to come up with a list of 20 (yes, 20) possible topics.
Usually, at the top of the list is running, or something like it whatever their "thing" is.You're able to boil it down to a simple description (dead grandmother), an equation (running=life) or a word (violin).When you teach creative writing, as I do, you hear from lots of people who say they love to write. Like Dorothy Parker, I love to have written, but I find the work of putting those words on the page far more exhausting than running the gnarliest 50K.By the end of the essay, after far too much time in the prison-house of someone else's consciousness, I would be screaming to go for a run myself and would have learned no more about the writer than that he had won/lost/finished the race and that it was hard. It was by a kid who had been a soccer player and used to make fun of the runners with their itty-bitty shorts.After running a 800m as a freshman, he decided maybe there was something to running after all. When he showed up on campus, I tracked him down and we became friends, meeting for weekly breakfasts at a local diner. When I asked him about why he didn't write about that, he said he didn't want to seem like he was bragging.Often first drafts are stiff and stuffy, where the writer seems to be wearing someone else's clothes and looks uncomfortable, maybe even a little fraudulent.I ask my students to write their first drafts in the form of an email to me. This exercise can help shake off some of the writerly pretentions they find appealing and that make me, as a reader, want to retch.Writing requires discipline and patience and multiple revisions.Pick up any running club newsletter or click on a friends blog and you will see hundreds, maybe thousands of words, but most of them are not arranged in a way that makes you want to read them.There's nothing you can do if the person on whose desk your file lands loves Eagle Scouts and student body presidents and hates poetry and you happen to be an anarchist poet who never goes outdoors.But that doesn't mean you can't write an essay that will show off who you are and why you would be someone they'd want to meet.