Alyssa Adel

Student in Athens, Georgia

Alyssa Adel

Student in Athens, Georgia

Listen to my music

I chose to join cross country going into freshman year of highschool. No, it wasn’t because of my love for running or even exercising for that matter; It was solely to follow in my older brother’s footsteps. The original plan was that I would get in shape and possibly make a friend or two along the way. By the end of the first season, my whole perspective changed. Cross country didn’t just teach me how to run--it taught me about dedication, discipline, collaboration, and believing in oneself. I didn’t voluntarily wake up at 7 AM on weekends all throughout the year for something I wasn’t going to give my all to. I didn’t brutally murder my body through intense weight training and core workouts after having gone through a whole day of school to settle for mediocre. I didn’t sacrifice those painfully tempting junk food for something I didn’t love. During my sophomore year, I was on a roll; I lettered in my first 5k of the season, trained with the seniors, was on the top of Junior Varsity, and even competed in a number of the Varsity races. Cross country was the main focus of my high school career. Until my sister was born…

When I was five, I incessantly begged my parents for a little sister. I wanted someone I could play dolls with, give makeovers to, and just fawn over. Ten years later, I got my wish. Having Angela join the family was a dream come true. Everything went smoothly, until the summer before junior year. Everyone became much too busy to keep up with Angela’s growing demands. Looking at the situation, I knew I had to do something. It was pure emotional and mental turmoil, having to decide between the sister whom I adore and the sport that made me me, and I felt cheated at first. For weeks after making my decision, I was in a constant state of “what if’s”. What if I could’ve become team captain? What if I could’ve gotten a scholarship? What if I just sacrificed the only thing I had going for me? Those questions paired up with the guilt of letting down my coach, my team, and my parents consumed me.

Flash forward to today, I regret