Straight Euphoria


Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you? / For a college scholarship

This might seem contradicting, but the most blissful experiences I feel are often when I’m out running with sweat traveling down my temples and my lungs desperately collecting air. I’m an enthusiast when it comes to the sport. As a varsity co-captain for my cross country and track teams, I train six days a week all year, only taking at most six weeks off. I’ve been running since the seventh grade and at first, it killed me. Through the years, however, running has become an escape for me. It provides an hour each day of meditation, an opportunity to organize my thoughts. Not only am I running away from the start of my particular route, but I’m momentarily running away from stress, and if I’m successful enough, I can leave my workout with my stress vanquished.

Running, for me, has the power to clear and straighten my mind, to focus it on my priorities: God, family, and my future. The everyday distractions of technology and the stress of adolescence and entering a whole new world can be overwhelming. Joining the cross country team freshman year was the greatest choice I have ever made. Through the team I’ve formed bonds that will last a lifetime, matured and learned how to live a healthy life, and strengthened my faith. Without those bonds I would’ve never discovered my interest in politics and history, be encouraged to make great grades and join National Honor Society, or to forge more relationships off of the ones gained from cross country and track. All those blessings would have never been given to me if it weren’t for my insane interest in running, a sport that can mentally break you down and physically conquer you.

Out there on the trails or the track, with your heart pumping violently and your legs full of lead, you’re born into this “runner’s high” of straight euphoria. It’s contradicting, obviously, but when you’re running to the best of your ability, you enter a world of your own. You discover you can push past your limits and ignore the pain that can only last as long as you let it. That’s something to be prideful yet humble over. While running, I become so content with myself; every new step taken is another accomplishment and it brings you down to earth. There is just a connection between running and happiness. I studied psychology and apparently the runner’s high is best explained by the release of serotonin in the brain, but I believe it’s more than just a chemical. Running is a connection to humanity and to nature, and for me that means everything. Running has strengthened my relationship with Christ and introduced me to the greatest characters at a time in my life when I felt absolutely alone.

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