• U.S.

Competition: Not a Minute to Spare

4 minute read
Katherine Rack

In a way, I guess you can call my life stressful, chaotic and filled with hard work. When taking a look at it all, I see past this and notice how fortunate I am to have not only a mother and a father but food every day and a roof over my head. I am sure that even in my most stressful moments, I have it easier than more than half the world. Still, I find it ironic writing about how occupied my schedule is when I barely have enough time to write.

I am a very active person and always find myself running from one event to another. My top priorities are school, athletics and my family. Cross-country, track and gymnastics are some of the sports I am committed to. During the cross-country and track seasons, I have practice Monday through Friday, mostly at 7:30 a.m. I love running so much that I run on my own too. I am also a Level Six USA Gymnastics competitor. This is a yearlong sport for me, and I never get a break. I don’t mind this, and I look forward to practices, which are three hours, three times a week. The one thing I dislike about running and gymnastics is when they conflict. It pains me whenever I have to choose between them.

I also take school extremely seriously. I am a straight-A student and am looking to keep this up. Unlike many parents, mine do not get angry if I get a grade lower than an A. They simply advise me to go talk to my teachers to find out if there is any work I could do to bring the grade up. I’m thankful for this type of parenting because it seems as though I get enough criticism from myself.

Another love that I have is music. I play the clarinet in my school’s highest band, the wind ensemble. Last summer I took piano lessons for my own pleasure. I caught on to this instrument quickly, and I play it as much as possible–often to soothe myself after a stressful day.

I also love taking part in our school plays. This year I was given a role in Anything Goes, which was a thrilling experience. Rehearsals occurred almost every day after school for about two months. During this time, it was difficult to fit in cross-country, gymnastics, piano and homework. Yet somehow I did. On those rare occasions when I am left with a free moment, one of my favorite things to do is relax in a comfortable chair and read a novel.

One of my greatest struggles is trying to find time to spend with my family and friends on top of all of my activities. I hate that something has to be sacrificed. For me, that thing is my friends. At times my friends get angry with me because I can never hang out with them. This annoys me because I don’t think they know how much I really want to but can’t because of my time constraints. I wish they knew that I miss them. I also long for the nights when I used to relax with my family. Now I come home from meets and practices to eat and finish homework. Many times I am exhausted.

It may sound as though there must be something or someone making me live my life in this manner. Well, there is: me. I choose to spend my time this way, even though it may mean less time for friends, family and relaxing. Call me crazy, but the reason for my overscheduled lifestyle is the love I have for all my chosen activities. Just like with my schooling, I have long-term goals for the sports with which I am involved. Those goals drive me to keep up the hard work. I enjoy what I do and am not planning to stop anytime soon.

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