Ok, the day is done and I’ve gotten something done in addition!
After lunch I went to the Lincoln Library and then wrote out the short
answer and personal essay for the Common App. I was at the
library for……. 2.5 hours straight methinks. It was pretty
hardcore, just… sitting there, writing, editing, and -for the last
1.5 hours- slicing down the personal essay since it’s too long.
Heck, it’s STILL too long…
Afterwards, came back and made rice. After parents got back for dinner ate 2 mangoes which were good, then watched Prison Break which was
I thought. We’ll see how that goes; I’ll probably just dump following the show once school starts.
Going to see Dartmouth tomorrow: the very last school visit. I
have an interview around 2pm, but what stinks is that my hair is
getting wicked long…. but hopefully that won’t matter *shrug*.
Someone’s shown interest, so, as I often do, I’m going to post my most
recent piece. It happens to be my college essay. If anyone
finds this in poor taste, please let me know. Don’t mean to….
botha anyone. And sorry if it’s boring… reused material
kinda…. yeah…. reused metaphors some (the one with pistons in
The air is pulsing
as I stumble up the hill. The course is
confusing; it doubles back on itself four times betwixt sports fields and
forests. It even goes over the same hill
twice – this same hill that I’m struggling up again. I’m panting and sweating heavily. I start to grumble. I tell myself to save it. I see my two targets ahead, and wonder how
I’m going to survive. My throat is
searing. My form is wavering. All this is happening in the very first Cross
Country race of my junior year, and I have no idea what I’m doing.
sprinter. Short distances, big muscles
(I wish), and starting blocks. I love
the speed, rushing wind, and thrill of winning.
Being a thin, 5’3” Chinese male offers little advantage, except the
element of surprise. So why am I in a 5K
race? I joined Cross Country sophomore
fall and spent the season preparing for Track and racing for fun. I raced for myself.
But this year, I’d
been elevated. In a freak occurrence
this small Asian sprinter was now Varsity.
I was the 14th of the top 14, a scoring runner. Just my luck.
This time the race mattered, not only for me, but for my team.
The chill of the
day is stiffening my bones but still I sweat.
The two Choate runners are within sight but I can’t muster the energy to
close the 20 meter gap. It’s just too
far. They’ll simply re-pass me and I’ll
be finished. So I hold on as we enter
the final mile, praying that God will give me the strength I don’t have.
I never asked to
be on Varsity Cross Country. The fuzzy
“A” each winter and spring were enough; it was all the glory I wanted. Here was more, more than I’d asked for, more
than I’d wanted, more than I could handle.
Suddenly, I was important but didn’t want to be; asked to do something
I’d never done. It was horrifying. The sky seemed to tremor with Zeus’ thunder,
the wind whispering in tongues all around me.
Spirits in the woods and gods in the clouds were betting against me,
hoping for an easy win at the races. I
don’t blame them. With so little
experience how could I do it?
I’m the only Andover
runner in striking distance of these two.
I’m somewhere in the top 10 of this race and I know my score is really
going to matter. I try to steel
myself. I try to hold tight, breathe
right and hang onto them; a battered Odysseus clutching onto jagged sea cliffs
in the storm. I’m praying for enough
power to do what I need to do.
And at that point,
I’ve got it. With 800 meters left,
divine providence has arrived. I tell my
whimpering heart to shut up. I dare the
daring of the deities to go all in on this dark horse. I dare myself to do what was asked – and
more. They’re still 20 meters ahead, but
I’ve got to do it: I’ve got to go. I
somehow have enough left for a warp speed burst, and I fire up the
With 600 meters
left, I’m running in open sprinting form, legs pounding over the unyielding
lawn and arms pumping through the unkind air.
As I finally pass them, I hear an expletive of dismay. I feel them sigh in desperation as this
small, out-of-nowhere sprinter is dashing by, burning grass and burning his
lungs as he exceeds the speed of sound and consciousness.
My vision is
growing static. I almost miss it, but
I’m passing a third Choate runner, with barely 200 meters remaining. I’m too tired to celebrate. As the oxygen in my blood grows thinner I
realize that I’m almost there. The white
line is nearing as my legs fire like factory pistons, turning over
automatically without my knowledge as I my head lolls back and forth.
And then I’m
across. The line is behind me. I can barely see. My legs are splitting and my head is
swimming. I feel like I’m dying. I feel like I’m dead. And as I fall to my knees exhausted, I hear
something. Up above the sky splits open
and I see some grumpy god tossing coins to another, the metallic clink ringing
through the September dusk. And I smile,
as best as my weary self can. “Thank God”.
I’ve done it and it’s fantastic.
===END EDIT 10:31pm===
The week of XC is over and now I’m in the little…. floating period
before school starts. That means I have to keep training (running
running running) but still get geared up for school. That will
entail doing Apps (I’ve said this before haven’t I), seeing where my
textbooks are and getting all my packing stuff ready and clothes and
everything. But then there’s also other things like… prepping
for SATs…. blah…. but MOST IMPORTANTLY I have to prepare and
continue to spend time working ahead for ACF, writing discussions or
finding appropriate material so that these God-given ideas (I’m really
not smart enough to come up with them for sure) won’t be sunk by lack
last night was pretty good and I managed to do a decent part of my mock
Common App. We also went out to dinner last night with my uncle, aunt
& cousin. My older cousin just had a baby, and my uncle was pretty
funny, rocking the baby around saying “you should get used to motion
sickness since your mom and dad fly so often for work!” My uncle’s
kinda silly like that
I have found however that once thrust back into reality, the rules of
reality are applying again, things like disagreements and
temptation and laziness. I’ve been back for one day and felt
twinges of each… So I have to be careful since I’ve already slipped
up a bunch while at home, not to mention some of my less-than-stellar
self up in Vermont. I was good several times but not so great
other times, swearing, getting mad… lots of “wonderful” things like
So now I’m off to the library, to hopefully write up a short answer and
maybe start the personal statement (whatever that means)…I’ll
probably end up writing about a Cross Country race and throw in lots of
things about…. struggles, pain, out of placeness (sprinters don’t
belong in 5ks etc…) and such…. maybe it’ll be good *shrug*
I feel kinda off right now.. but this morning was much better…. I’m
doing my best to climb back up there, I really was good this morning…
It’s [my] confession Lord
That [I] am weak, so VERY weak
But You are strong
And though [I’ve] nothing Lord
To lay at Your feet
[I’ve] come to Your feet [to] say “help
– David Ruis