The Desire For Change

The Desire For Change
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  • 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.
  • My grandpa
  • 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.
  • GO!
  • 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. 
  • 2:04!
  • 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!
  • 10:00!
  • 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. 
  • 7:45!
  • 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!
  • 6:35!
  • 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.
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