Humans of Harker: Balance

Leon Lu experiences life one step at a time

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Humans of Harker: Balance

"I think that water polo is a sport where you can trade off strength for mental ability, in the sense that they're equal parts of the equation. I think that I enjoy that sort of concept of having athleticism and intelligence will both be half of your equation to perform well in the sport," Leon Lu (12) said.

Nicole Chen

"I think that water polo is a sport where you can trade off strength for mental ability, in the sense that they're equal parts of the equation. I think that I enjoy that sort of concept of having athleticism and intelligence will both be half of your equation to perform well in the sport," Leon Lu (12) said.

Nicole Chen

Nicole Chen

"I think that water polo is a sport where you can trade off strength for mental ability, in the sense that they're equal parts of the equation. I think that I enjoy that sort of concept of having athleticism and intelligence will both be half of your equation to perform well in the sport," Leon Lu (12) said.

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In the corner of Mr. Hurshman’s room during a long lunch, a simple tune – the Geometry Dash Theme song – throughout the background noise of the lunchtime chatter from an electronic keyboard resonates. Headphones slung around his neck, Leon Lu (12) sits at the piano in a “relaxed concentration,” trying out different chords as his peers continue with their daily lunch time routines around him.

Leon perhaps embodies the ideal Harker student: a mixture of STEM and humanities and interests in both athletics and the arts – while still remaining humble and maintaining composure.

He competes on the water polo team at Harker and for an outside club, a sport which is perhaps the best combination of agility, raw strength, intelligence, and mental and physical stamina.

“I think that water polo is a sport where you can trade off strength for mental ability, in the sense that they’re equal parts of the equation,” Leon said. “I think that I enjoy that sort of concept of having athleticism and intelligence will both be half of your equation to perform well in the sport.”

Leon enjoys the fairness aspect of water polo: the fact that the game is played in the water levels the playing field as advantages and disadvantages one has on land do not necessarily translate to water.

“You certainly need strength but I think [the fact that everyone is in the water] allows a lot of anticipation and prediction about what other people are going to do and how to counter that,” he said. “It’s one thing to know what to do, in water polo, but it’s another thing to be able to actually do it, and I think that sort of idea is something that appeals to me in water polo.”

To clear his mind from the stresses of school and extracurricular activities, Leon surrounds himself with nature on his hikes.

“I think it’s different from my other interests because for me, hiking is something where I just sit and think about things,” Leon said. “I think that’s one of the things hiking allows for you to find in yourself, almost, and allows you to think about yourself and reflect on what you’ve done in the last four years of high school.”

Indeed, his ability to destress has led him to represent the “chill” mindset that has pushed him through his successes and his failures during his time in high school.

“I guess I would say that there are certain qualities that Leon embodies that I admire. He’s very calm and relaxed about everything, I would as far to use the colloquial term of ‘chill.’ He’s not perturbed by setbacks and he has a continually positive or at the very least balanced outlook on things,” close friend Alexander Young (12) said.