By Allyson Hart
The Tower (Grosse Point, Michigan)
I did not think I would be writing a senior column so soon. As the last four years have passed, each have gone by faster and faster. While it will be sad to leave family and friends behind as I hit the road for ten hours north this fall, I know what awaits me is worth the distance. Thinking about what to write in my column, I figure it is time to reflect on the most revolutionary event of my teenage years.
My junior year I was faced with the challenge of going gluten free. At first it was tough to cut out so much from my diet and was inconvenient to everyday life. But, it was beyond worth it. After seeing how much better it made me feel, I knew there was no going back. My body loved the new diet, as I found the most fulfilling nutrition in whole food, plant based meals.
Feeling better than I ever had inspired me to challenge myself to train like crazy. I’ve always played sports and been athletic, but I wanted to push my body farther. I began distance running, speed workouts, strength training, yoga, and the list goes on. Training was what made me feel so good about myself everyday.
Now I workout everyday, if not twice a day, and have never felt better about myself. My fitness is one of my top priorities and something I can never see myself living without. You can live anywhere in the world, but the only place that you are forced to live is in your body.
What I didn’t expect to come from training was the amount of mental growth I achieved. Your body can do so much more than you think it can, which is why I was not only developing my physical shape, but my mental shape as well. Your mind can push you farther than you think you can go, and make you forget that your legs are dying for a break, or your heart is pumping so hard, or your lungs can barely supply air fast enough.
While I have made some notable accomplishments in the last four years with countless support systems along the way, no one pushes me harder than myself. I can thank my family, friends and teachers for their support and guidance, but I have to thank myself for working hard for the past four years to achieve my goals.
Because of the work ethic and dedication I have cultivated and applied throughout high school, I find myself headed to my top choice college next year to study what I love. I owe it to my lifestyle change for allowing me to realize the power the mind has when you commit yourself to something.
I committed myself to four years of being successful and prosperous, to four years of reaching for the goal of going to my top choice school, and to four years of pushing myself farther and farther.
Though, I haven’t done this all by myself. I do have to thank the people who have been important throughout my last four years. Thank you to my parents for their unwavering support and love, my brothers for the endless competition and the teachers who have made an impact on my high school career. And lastly I must thank my friends who have made the ride more enjoyable, and have put up with all of my nonsense about rocks and chocolate.
Photo Credit: Maurizio