Annabelle Tiller is a junior at San Marcos Senior High School in Santa Barbara, California. In this essay, she writes about what the sport of track and field means to her, what it's taught her and why it will continue to be a strong staple in her life.
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"You truly get out what you put in. If I'm not satisfied with my results, then I'm encouraged to work harder and I'm motivated to be better."
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By Annabelle Tiller
Not a day goes by that I'm not training, race planning, stretching, visualizing or talking about track. You've consumed my life, which I don't mind.
But I've realized: Track isn't just a sport anymore, it's a real lifestyle.
So thank you for teaching me hard work and dedication.
You've improved my physical health, but also my mental health, which is something that is hard to work on. You've shaped me into who I am today, and I want to thank you.
Thank you for proving to me what being humble means, for exposing me to the amazing athletes in the field.
Every day brings a new opportunity to improve, to win or lose. You have to give your all to be satisfied with the results.
Thank you for showing me what persistence is and how it feels to use it.
You truly get out what you put in. If I'm not satisfied with my results, then I'm encouraged to work harder and I'm motivated to be better.
Thank you for bringing amazing people in my life.
They're like-minded and goal-oriented, people who are working as hard as I am, too. We can relate over the little things, and bond over races. I've met my greatest mentor from you and some of my best friends, too.
You're the most rewarding thing in my life.
The feeling of finishing a hard workout, PRing, or seeing improvement is indescribable. You leave me wanting more after eight years. You leave me eager for the next season, for new possibilities, for new meets.
Thank you for truly defining what effort looks like.
Although my high school junior season seems to have been cut very short, I can understand why, and I'm hopeful I can compete again this year.
I've put in so much work in the preseason, and I will continue to work hard and trust the process.
Santa Barbara San Marcos High School junior