April 28, 2020
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was a freshman, and she died a year and a half later.
I was angry and heartbroken, but more than that, I had lost my role model and an eminent force in my life. I’ve learned that my grieving process is not linear, like with everything else, and there are good days and bad days. Over the years I have found a new kind of confidence- that come what may, I can do anything after surviving such devastation.
With my mom cheering me on, I have become a stronger runner, which is a large part of my identity (I know, secret’s out). A moment which will forever resonate with me is the moment when I crossed the finish line my senior year of cross country at the State Championship meet. That season I had improved drastically, defying the goals I had set, but there wasn’t a single person except myself who thought that I could win State that day. As I toed the line with my teammates, I put all of the doubt out of my mind and thought “why not me?” And with that, no sooner had I fixed my eyes on the finish line. I won not only for my team, family, and mom, but I won for myself.
Running has been more than just a sport for me- it’s my outlet to relieve me of my grief and sadness when needed. Although high school did not live up to any movie I have ever seen with spontaneous dancing or happy endings, there are better things to look forward to. I know now that whatever challenge comes my way, I am both brave and strong enough to endure and embrace it.
Furthermore, when you come out of high school, you won’t be the same person who started it. That’s what it’s all about.