This I Believe

Graham - Devon, Pennsylvania
Entered on February 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in running. Running has always been a part of my life, ever since I was a little kid. I would run everywhere. Short, long, hilly, flat, it made no difference. I still do not totally understand what compelled me to do a sport that most teams consider punishment. I was in no rush to get anywhere, I wasn’t an overly competitive, or looking for glory. I guess I ran because it was fun, and I had a hint of natural talent. I remember in middle school watching the older kids at track practice. Meets were especially fun to watch and only wetted my appetite for when I was old enough to join them. The shine of new spikes combined with the gust of wind that came when runners glided by, their hamstrings and calves straining but still maintaining perfect motion was truly inspiring.

As many people say, the rest is history. I am now a prominent member of my high school cross country, indoor, and outdoor track teams. I run distance events mainly, ranging from the 800 meter to five kilometer races. These are the longer events and people constantly question what drives me to run these distances. I will admit that the distance team, including me, is quite crazy, but also very dedicated. That is what it takes, dedication. Your body must be in top condition to handle the stresses you place on it during a long race, and pain management is a huge factor. Often times coming down the final stretch of the race, it’s about who can take more pain and find that next gear, you or the other guy? I guess it is the challenge, the pain you have to suffer through races that make the reward so much sweeter, and another motivation for my running.

There is also another side to running than the competitive aspect. I believe that running has a calming aspect. Often times when I feel overwhelmed I go for a run. You have to go away from society into nature. I love to run on trails where I can see world all around me, the air is fresh and as soon as my foot hits the trail I feel relieved. All your troubles and angers get taken out on the trail, and you eventually reach a moment of clarity where everything falls into place and makes sense. It is an effective way to channel my frustration or when I need to get away from the stresses of school and life to be alone.

Running has, and always will be a key part of my life. Many of my closest friends I have met through running. I have learned so much about the sport and life from those 12 mile runs and rigorous track workouts after which I can barely stand. I have a passion for running and it shines through in everything I do, and makes me who I am today.