College Essay, The Push-up

Front leaning rest position, move!

While these words might not mean anything to the average person, the words signify the starting position of the pushup exercise. I didn’t know what they meant until Summer 2015 when I arrived for Army Basic Training in Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I would say that these five words have changed me for the better. It is not necessarily the words that had the meaning, but more so the action that came along with those five little words. The pushup is challenging. Having all of your bodyweight and gravity pull you down while you struggle to push off the ground with only the arms that God has given you. All of a sudden, your body is up and exhausted. Now try 46 pushups in two minutes. That is called motivation, mental and physical strength. What can one small thing like the pushup teach you about life? It is not just about the pushup, it is about pushing…pushing in every aspect of life.

I was raised by a man whose strength and integrity were evident the morning he became a single Father for my brother and I. Having one parent present for the early years of my life was pretty challenging. For five years, he raised us the best he could. There were plenty of days where it was an obvious problem, like our daily routine when he would drop me off at daycare, quickly stopping at the bubbler to pat down my bed head because he forgot to brush my hair. Some days I could tell it was a hard day. Trying to make ends meet, but there wasn’t a day that I didn’t feel loved and appreciated. My Dad got remarried when I was eight. We finally had the missing puzzle piece to our family! I believe that my past experiences from my family have taught me to treat others with respect because you never know what they have or are going through.

Leaders are either born or they are made. I feel I have been made into a leader through the experiences and training in my life. I was raised to give back and serve others.While in high school, I served as the Youth Volunteer Coordinator for Snowdrop Foundation, a nonprofit that benefits pediatric cancer patients and survivors. My decision to join the military was an easy one. At Army Basic Training, I excelled and became squad leader. I was also the highest performing female in my platoon, which resulted in me becoming an honor graduate. Throughout my school career I have been engaged in clubs, sports, and volunteer work, but it is my strength, dedication, and selflessness that has allowed me to be successful. Being a go to person both in my civilian and military life are important to me. My desire to place others’ needs before my own has put me on a path that is completely unique.

As I’m doing the pushup, I see the puddle of sweat building under my face as I hold my body in the air. It’s a puddle that is reflective of my life. You see, through hard work and discipline, I have overcome the odds. Despite what has been thrown at me, I continue to be successful. I was in the front leaning rest for an hour without moving. This gave me an opportunity to watch my puddle grow and see who I am. I am a daughter, a role model for my siblings, an American soldier, and a leader! I can make a positive and healthy environment for everyone around me. I can respect others. I can lead others. I can push myself. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and feeling confident about who you are. I feel confident on where my life is going. So I’ll keep pushing.

Front leaning rest position, move.


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