Any great artist, novelist, or composer will spend hours upon days creating the masterpiece they are devoutly passionate about. I too spend a comparable amount of time, energy, and compassion creating the masterpiece and achieving the goals I have set for myself and those around me. However, I am no artist, novelist, or composer. I am a runner.
For me, Steve Prefontaine’s quote “Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run,”
expresses exactly how I created something I believe is beautiful out of the sports of Cross Country and Track and Field.
Through the course of my high school career I feel that I accomplished great feats. I gone from a chubby freshman that barely made it onto the varsity team to becoming cross country and track field captain, leading the men’s cross country team to state for the first time since 1999. However, the beauty of my progress did not lie within the amount that t have achieved, rather, the development and character, values, and leadership I have gained through running almost every day.
When I started my freshman year, I was an individual with little ability, discipline, patience, or direction. However, with the mentorship of my coach, Doug Landrum, I was given direction and a sense of what I needed to accomplish. Landrum helped take the first step in the right direction. He actively encouraged me to come to practice every day and put forth a consistent, honest effort which pushed me dedicate myself to running. Through the course of that season I developed a truly concrete value for hard work and determination. I learned patience when result did not come quickly or easily which seemed defeating at first but after a while I learned that when given time, work will pay off. I took that patience and apply it to school, home, and life in general. I found that patience greatly improved my ability to deal with others and maintain determination and discipline in wind of difficult situations. Exhibiting my determination, strong work ethic, and patience in daily practice earned me the position of team captain my junior year. As captain I significantly advanced my skills of communication and collaboration leading the team in warm ups and competition.
The personal progress the sport of running has allowed me to have has left and will continue to leave a lasting effect on my life. This, I believe, is what has made what I have created of myself in running beautiful.