Keeping the Pace
By Julia, age 14, New York
A cringe in my shins left me agonizing in the late morning sun on my typical Saturday run. Coming short of a typically easily-obtained mile, shame inherited every corner of my body which was not already occupied by the quickly spreading pain. Panting and upset, I snatched my navy jacket from the ground and paced across the football field on the infield of the track, signaling to my father that I was ready to leave.
That previous afternoon, I had completed fair mileage in daunting conditions. While most practices and games had been cancelled for the day, I happily ran while observing the varsity track team relaxing on the green of the field. The grass was laced in fresh rain, and from the sidelines in the bleachers two bundled coaches contentedly watched my circles on the red pavement. When I finished, they were gone, along with my anxiety that had vacated with them.
For some, a steady speed and cluttered mind are intertwined; many today need to stop to catch a breath from physical and mental exhaustion. Rest allows us to rewind and relocate ourselves in confusion. However, if you find yourself burnt out continuously you may need to conduct a self evaluation.
Teenage girls tend to overload themselves with activity because today's society gives us so many choices. Between school, athletics, and the community, we can stretch ourselves in many directions without thinking twice. Self-pride keeps action in motion, but at a crucial climax everything breaks. Suddenly we feel so degraded that it seems as if we cannot move forward. Such emotion has profound consequences.
Today, consider your involvement in things around you. Are you gasping for air? Like my running, everyone has days in which struggle prevails. It is human nature. But overexertion has dangerous results. If you have found yourself struggling, softly let go of some things. Perhaps you can go without debate club, or maybe you have found that softball isn't quite your thing. Substituting something demanding for an easygoing activity does not hurt either.
Challenging yourself is very important, and if you don't your highest potential will never be reached. Though hazards can lurk in the shadows of excitement, bearing in mind your own well-being when taking on endeavors will ultimately lead to great success.