My legs hurt so much! They never said that I couldn't walk a little bit and then continue running, right?
Come on cadets! Don't give up now, you're so close to the end! Sprint!
Can this just be over now? I'm not good at running!
Yes, you did happen to pass by just a few seconds.
Cadet Gregor, 11:40! Not your best, but keep practicing and you'll get better.
Yes, sir! Did I pass?
This was me a little less than a year ago. Completely out of shape, barely able to finish the mandatory mile run for Civil Air Patrol.
I am proud to announce that Cadet Gregor has been promoted to Airman First Class!
Because of a little cramp I had, I decided that I should walk a bit and then continue running to the end. However, there was no chance that I was sprinting through the finish line.
Cadet Gregor, 10:00! That is a huge improvement from last time, nice job!
Thank you sir. This time I tried not to walk, so that's probably why.
Back then, I did not care about my time. As long as I had passed and was able to promote to my next rank I was happy. In other words, I wasn't expecting to get a 6:00 mile if I hadn't been practicing besides Civil Air Patrol so I was happy with 11:40 as my time.
Cadets, living a healthy lifestyle is very important which is why we have Nutrition Class.
After getting my first rank, happiness clouded my vision from anything else. I couldn't wait to promote again, not even thinking about the fact that maybe I should care more about my physical training.
Hmmm... I wonder if one day I could actually be good at running.
Teddy, my brother
The next PT night, nights where we exercise at Civil Air Patrol, I ran the mile 1:40 faster than my previous time just because I hadn't walked.
Alex, my cousin
I guess I will start running and exercising when I get back since it will be a Monday and I will have a fresh start to the week.
After having Nutrition class and running my mile a little bit quicker I realized that maybe I should start exercising at home a bit to start living a healthier lifestyle.
So I am going to start running on Monday and test myself to see how many push-ups and sit-ups I can do at once!
The next day, I decided to email the Squadron Physical Fitness Instructor to ask for some information about getting in shape and exercising.
The day after I had sent the email I had gone on a trip to the Grand Canyon with my grandpa, uncle, cousin, and brother. After getting off the airplane, I checked my phone, not expecting to get a reply. However, to my surprise, he had sent me two links about increasing the number of push-ups and sit-ups I could do along with some advice for getting better at running.
That flight was awful! I just want to go to bed.
When I got home from the vacation I told my parents all about how I planned to get into shape. For once, I was actually excited to exercise and get into shape. I couldn't believe that I was actually going to start living a healthy lifestyle.
So if I run the 400s, 1 lap, the email said that I should be getting around 2:00-2:05 and I got 2:04! Not bad!
Hmmm... I wonder what the author's purpose in using personification was.
Wow, 4:15 for 2 laps, the 800? That adds up to an 8:30 mile with a break in between which probably means I have a 9:00 mile!
On Monday, I started off running like I said I would, very determined. Even though it hurt to run, I knew that later on it would benefit me.
When I say go, you start!
Remember, you can do this, you've been training!
My running had started off pretty well, and I found out that I could do 10 push-ups at once along with 75 sit-ups. However, with school starting soon I knew that I needed to also focus on getting good grades as well.
In 2 weeks it would be PT night again and I would find out what my mile time was. Until then, I knew that I had to keep on training hard and not give up.
That's the time I got when I was training! Maybe I can get 9:00 after all!
2 weeks later it was time to finally see how much I had improved. I was nervous to see if I would actually do better than before but I reminded myself that I just needed to do my best and be happy with any improvement, even if it was just a few seconds.
Come on, sprint to the end! 8:39!
Just like that, the run had started, and my legs started moving before I could even process the fact that it was time to start running.
I did it! I actually did it!
After each lap, the instructor called out our time which allowed me to go a little faster or slower depending on how I was doing. After finding out my time after the first lap I became more confident that I would at least get 9:00 or under as my time.
Wow, running really does make your legs sore.
I couldn't believe it. I had gotten 8:39 as my time when just two months ago I had gotten 11:40. A wave of confidence splashed over me, inspiring me to keep training and doing my best.
Also, this time I wasn't last out of all of my cadets (even though it wasn't a race). Instead, I was fifth out of all of the cadets!
Later that night I was still in shock that I had improved so much and went to bed, excited about all of the endless possibilities of improving in the future.
How am I supposed to stay in shape during the winter months?
There is so much snow out there! Probably it's too cold to run anyways. Oh no, what am I going to do?
Probably Mom has the answer! Let me go and ask her.
Time passed by, and before I knew it, it was already winter. I was faced with a new challenge: staying in shape when it was cold outside.
Mom! Do you know how I could stay in shape during the winter?
I quickly looked out the window, hoping that somehow it was all a bad dream and it was actually a warm spring day. Instead, I looked outside to find a foot of snow and 14 degree weather.
Well, since we have such a long hallway upstairs you can run around the house.
Usually my parents were able to come up with good solutions to my problems so I decided to go and ask my mother to see if she knew what I could do.
Wow... even though I didn't run it at once, that was the hardest mile of my life!
Of course, after thinking about it for a few seconds she knew what I could do.
Although the idea of running a mile in my house seemed crazy at first, I knew that it could be a good temporary solution.
So I started the torturous run throughout my house the very next day, not knowing that it would be much harder than running outside.
So, you ready for the first meet of the season?
On occasional "warmer" days when I couldn't take running a mile inside my house anymore I forced myself to run outside. Somedays, even when it was 14 degrees outside I still refused to run in my house because of how tedious and annoying it was.
Why can't I just sit inside, comforted by my cozy blanket, the warmth of the fire, and some hot cocoa?
As it became closer to spring and it was warmer outside we started running outside during PT nights again.
A few months later...
I hope so. I gotta admit that I'm pretty nervous though.
Great, I'm the only girl. At least I get first place no matter what!
I actually did it! I ran a 6:35 mile! Wow, I improved so much!
I did track for the first time in 8th grade. When it was the day of my first meet, the butterflies in my stomach wouldn't go away. I took a few deep breaths and lined up at the starting line, not knowing what to expect.
By the last meet, I was still anxious about whether or not I would do good during my mile but I was far more confident than the beginning of the season.
On my last meet, I got my personal best, 6:35! I remembered how I started off barely being able to run a mile at 11:40 and now I had run it in 6:35. I was extremely proud of myself for being able to improve that much, and I realized that maybe my dream of becoming an astronaut one day wouldn't be impossible if I never gave up.