I used the theme of running-as-a-"footpath" from military service to college, as a sort of transitional "discipline" that also happened to be enjoyable and "grounding."
I've always loved writing essays on a variety of topics, not just about running.
running can be a fine topic for a college admissions essay. Particularly if you are applying to tippy top colleges, the essay is where you can sort of plant an image in the admissions officers mind about you so you are not just another 32 ACT score, 6 APs, unweighted 3.8
You can use the essay to convey something about you which might not otherwise be obvious or which sets you apart. The effect you are hoping to achieve is to make the admissions officer sit up in their chair and take another look at your application
My daughter applied to many top colleges about 6 years ago now with a 36 ACT, 12 AP's and a 3.85 unweighted GPA. We visited something like 20 colleges and she applied to 20 colleges - some were just to bag merit money, some were safety schools, and about 5 Ivy's.
After the admissions process was over and she had all the acceptances and reject or waitlist notifications in hand she reflected on the process and realized that her essay did not convey what was really unique about her. She was a "test tube baby" who was born 15 weeks premature as a triplet and she spent the first 4 years of school in a special education class watching the other kids eat paste. One of her siblings passed away due to prematurity health issues and one has special needs to this day. The list of students with her type of stats applying to Harvard is probably 2,000 long. The list of 25 week preemies with perfect ACT scores is probably not very long
Just an example - what are you "about" and what really makes you unique. It could be something inane like tiddlywinks or knitting but it is the intensity and passion that matters
When I was in high school I attended a panel of admissions reps from various colleges. All 5 panelists recommended NOT writing an essay about running. They said it was the most overused, and cliché topic that people use for the college essays. One, in fact, stated that she stops reading the essay when she realizes its about running because they bore her too much.
Hear is my essey - Why I run.
I run because it makes me more intelligent and healthy. I run because I'm talented at it and get to feel better than others. I run because others see it as a high quality and selfless act. I run because it feels good, and I probably have the genetics to enjoy endurance sports, but I choose to not say this and instead pretend I have more discipline than others. I run because I get to make friends with other runners, and push myself to be better. I run because I like being alone because other people are annoying normies.
I've always loved writing essays on a variety of topics, not just about running. You might think I'm a little strange, but I tell it like it is. Articles have influenced me as positively as board games have impacted people. I have always loved to develop my imagination and broaden my horizons. It has been an important life goal for me. My hobbies influenced my job choices. At the moment, I write reports and maintain documentation for a large company. Do you think there's no room for imagination here? Well, there isn't. All that helps me write is my brain and https://wordcounter.ai/
because it's not enough to write the text. It's essential to edit it properly.