Running has always held a special place in my heart. I was never by any means gifted genetically when it came to running, but what allowed me to have success with running and accomplish all of my goals was my dedication to getting better and my love of running. When I had first started, I was much slower than others and had very little endurance. I can still remember my freshman year when I was always the last to finish runs and workouts. During my freshman season of track, I had finished in last place in ever single race that I ran. I often times would ask myself why I did it. I could have been home playing video games or shooting hoop with friends, but instead I was doing track workouts that I was struggling to complete.
It later dawned on me how much I love running. The feeling of pushing yourself past your limits and enduring pain for not just a couple minutes, but instead for miles. Thinking about how far you have traveled all by yourself with the only thing propelling you forward being your body and mind. By the time I was a senior in high school, people used to talk about how I was the fastest distance runner in the school and how they were amazed that I could run 10+ miles and enjoy it.
After graduating high school, I took a bit of a hiatus from running and got into competing in powerlifting for a couple of years. Earlier this year however, I had competed in my first track meet in 4-5 years. I am finally getting back into running and I am loving it. Running has always been my outlet. It’s a way for me to clear my mind and detach myself from the world or any problems I am facing. You may have heard people talk about a runners high. That is when you’re running and you then feel no pain, just pure enjoyment and feel as though all of your limits are gone and you’re on top of the world. It is one of the best feelings. Getting a runners high is as satisfying to me as hitting a new deadlift PR.
Running is a great way to improve your health and stay in shape; but running is so much more than being healthy to me. Running is my passion and a lifestyle. Coaching Cross Country and Track & Field athletes gives me great joy because I get to share my passion with the youth and open up their world to new possibilities. Seeing all of the hard work that yourself or somebody else puts in on their runs and then hits a new personal best is a great sight. There is no cheating when it comes to running. You can’t get lucky, you can’t cheat a new personal best, there’s no secret path to success when it comes to running. Just hard work, consistency, and enjoyment.
I highly encourage you go out and give it a try. It doesn’t matter how fast you are or how far you run. I am no where near as fast as I used to be. But I love it probably more now than I ever have in the past. All that matters is that you go out and push yourself to improve and be your best version of yourself. I hope that everybody that reads this, will go out and give running a try. I know it may not be for everybody, but it doesn’t hurt to go out and try something new. Who knows, you might fall in love with it just as I have.