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  • Diana

A forever athlete

My grandpa went to Seton Hall University on a full ride athletic scholarship. He was a great runner, but he was even better at never letting anyone forget that he ran track at Seton Hall.

My grandpa's influence might have encouraged me to be an athlete, but I loved accomplishing a goal and bettering myself as I persevered in the gym. Pageantry is similar to gymnastics because you may hear no more than yes. But with each no, you learn something and continue to accomplish your goals. My time as a gymnast taught me how to work hard but it made me an athlete for life.

Gymnastics showed me the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. I always thought that gymnastics made me strong mentally as much as it did physically because eating healthy and working out became a lifestyle. I remember I started to run in ninth grade and as time went on, my workout routine continued to progress. I will always be built like an athlete and I am sure I will continue to think like one too.

Gymnasts are supposed to wear leotards. Just like pageantry, you can spend hundreds of dollars on these spandex outfits. But they might have not been that bad because that athletic style is still my favorite. On a normal day, you can find me sporting a typical Aly Raisman look. In the morning, I put on workout clothes to go to the gym, and when I get home to get ready, I put on another workout

It took me awhile to accept my athletic fit. My arms were always larger than everyone else and my core was really strong. I eventually realized that everyone has a different fit and that is perfectly okay. When I speak to students across New York, I reinforce positive body image and encourage them to accept each other for who they are. When we embrace our differences, our integrity shines and that is a beautiful thing.

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