Help With Essay (please)

<p>A friend apparently is an addicted reader of this site, and told me I should ask for tips here. Thanks</p>

<hr>

<p>When I was twelve, I was fast. We all are at twelve, I suppose, but I had runners’ legs. From birth, they were long, and lean, but best of all they were flexible, which allowed me to glide by other runners by nature. Just before my thirteenth birthday they carried me to finish half-mile in 1:57, which was faster than our High School record by ten seconds. I was *<strong><em>y, too. The only thing that ran faster than my feet was my mouth. A month after turning thirteen I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It really wasn’t a big deal, but I had to wear a back brace when I wasn’t running or playing basketball. That was a little weird, but was also more incentive to keep running. The day early in March when I needed to see my doctor again, I wanted to run to the appointment, but my mother wouldn’t let me, so I rode in the car with her and my father. They were both dressed in black, and I wore my running shorts; facts which in retrospect I find funny. That day I found out that I would need surgery to correct the now-massive ninety-one degree curviture in my spine. The surgery would overlap with track season, so none of my training from the previous offseason would ever be tested beyond that one race: that 1:57.
To be completely honest, I never even considered the effect of the surgery on my running until I told my track coach a week later, and even then I had more pressing concerns. I was resigned to missing that one season, but I knew I could keep working and come back stronger the next year. The full recovery was listed at two years, but I was allowed to run after four months. That was the longest summer I can remember. Two things kept me going: the frighteningly (and, I admit, wonderfully) intense math course that I was taking, and the thought that when I got back, it would make an unbelievable story.
Of course, you know where this story is going already. [My Name], defying all odds. I could see the cover of Time, now, or at least Runner’s World: “Runner Overcomes Surgery, Breaks Records, and Wins Fields Medal.” I could see it on that cold day in fall, when I tried my first real workout, and coughed up more blood than I had ever seen, trying to run a measly six miles. I could see it when my first pre-season race was a seven-minute mile. I could see it when the season started up, and my coach didn’t know how to treat me. I could see it when school finished for the year, and I hadn’t run so much as a 2:20 half-mile.
It wasn’t until the following season that I stopped seeing it. I was a Freshman now, and I finally had the chance at that record. I was the fastest one on the distance team despite the surgery, but suddenly I didn’t care. The captain of the distance team was a Senior whom I knew well-- and already looked up to because of his obvious mathematical genius-- named Ian (he’s at Stanford now, but don’t hold it against him). I began slowing my pace to talk to him, and helping teammates with their form. Ian and I discovered that the rods in my back were forcing me to sway from side to side as I ran—a permanent difficulty that would keep me from ever running a fast enough eight-hundred for my liking. I was less *</em></strong>y that year. I was also more of a teammate. That summer I ran only once or twice per week. But that summer I also took a Physics class and wrote a theory to explain Dark Matter. That summer I knew that I’d never be “Runner Overcomes Surgery, Breaks Records and Wins Fields Medal” again. Well, there’s still time on the Fields Medal.</p>

<p>The following is a shameless bump: PLEASE reply.</p>

<p>It's a good story, but it needs some major editing.
I would cut out :"I was ****y, too. The only thing that ran faster than my feet was my mouth." It comes out of nowhere, and you don't support it in any way.
Also "he’s at Stanford now, but don’t hold it against him" (yes, I realize it's a joke, but it really isn't funny and seems out of place).</p>

<p>"But that summer I also took a Physics class and wrote a theory to explain Dark Matter. That summer I knew that I’d never be “Runner Overcomes Surgery, Breaks Records and Wins Fields Medal” again. Well, there’s still time on the Fields Medal." - spend some time working on this part, show how your perspective and priorities changed instead of just making a list.</p>

<p>" The only thing that ran faster than my feet was my mouth. "</p>

<p>Totally weird. Just delete the line.</p>

<p>Also, I agree, the Stanford joke seems a little random and out of place.</p>

<p>I like how you eventually show that you realized that you would never really run that quickly and focus more on helping your teammates. Expand on this.</p>

<p>What I don't like is the sudden mentioning of the Fields Medal. First of all, it's an award given to mathematicians, not physicists; so far, you haven't mentioned anything about your mathematical ability, and it's very random. The whole ending from "But that summer I also took a Physics..." just seems tacked on. Get rid of it entirely and write more about your running.</p>

<p>Anyway, it's a pretty good essay--better than most, at any rate. Just make sure it's more focused on one idea; try to completely develop two ideas in five hundred words and you'll end up developing neither.</p>

<p>Just some awkard phrases, overall pretty good essay. I guess this is for Stanford, is this the picture essay?</p>

<p>Ahem, Georgy. The majority here seems to agree with most of my corrections.</p>