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Cornell Application Essay

            Important Question posed: Who and how has someone influenced you to be the person you are today?.
             Every week for the past three summers Ive paid a man who insults my short, pudgy figure and makes me run in the blistering heat. I endure this treatment not only because I want to, but also because I know that if I do not, I will let myself down as well as an influential friend. A typical conversation during my private lesson between my tennis coach Ogidi Obi and me sounds like this:.
             "Get off your lazy butt, Greg.".
             "Im sorry, Ogidi.".
             "You should be playing every day. Why arent you?".
             "I have a lot of homework these days. My classes are getting tougher.".
             "What do you do each day for fitness? 250 crunches? 1000 jump ropes? 1-mile run? Not enough. Do twice that a day.".
             "Ok, I'll start tomorrow.".
             "You dont have the time and energy to do fitness and homework? Tough.".
             Usually I wouldnt take this abuse without a rebuttal but there is something about Ogidi's tone of voice that pushes me to continue this rigorous routine. Perhaps its because in the back of my mind I know that he is looking out for my immediate and long-term results and that its not out of spite, anger, or as an abuse of his authority over me. .
             Ogidi has always pushed me to my physical limits to progress my tennis game. Earning his respect required hard work and toil, both of which I put forth because I admire his ability to play tennis. He is a tall, gangly, 28 year old, African-American man who laughs like a gangster from an old black and white film. Throughout our friendship on and off the tennis court we have shared many deep thoughts to one another. Our conversations have spanned from technique on striking the tennis ball to philosophical and religious issues. I have learned to look for the next point and not to dwell on the past. The fact that we contrast so much makes our friendship all the more comical.
             Speaking of differences, Ogidi is extremely intimidating, unlike myself.

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