Many people ask me “how did you get into running?” This is a question I still ask myself. Until the 10th grade, I was an avid horseback rider. I would ride my ponies, Ruby and Lulu, everyday after school and bring them to horse shows on the weekends. I would even go down to Wellington, Florida in the winters to ride in the horse show series there. I loved riding horses; I especially loved the special bond that I had with my ponies. They were almost like giant puppies because would always know how to cheer me up. One of my most special memories of riding was with my pony, Ruby. I remember feeling especially down one day, so I went to give her a hug and she wrapped her neck back around me, as if she knew I was sad. My ponies always knew how to put a smile on my face.
So how did I go from an equestrian to a runner?
I decided to go to boarding school in the 8th grade. There, I was able to ride horses everyday because they had a riding program. My interests started to shift in May of that year when I joined a “May Program” run by my school called “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise”. (May Program: a two week outside of class room study, taught by teachers at my school) Within the Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise” program I learned all about healthy life styles, such as exercise, healthy meals, and budgeting.
The first thing my group did everyday was go on an easy two mile run. At first, I was very intimidated by the two-mile run, but as I ran in more often, I started to really enjoy it. In fact, it became my favorite part of the program. The leader of the program suggested that I should run cross-country the following Fall (9th Grade). However, the thought of actually racing a 5k course seemed quite daunting. Also, having been a rider for my whole life, running was not an option.
The thought of running cross-country never left my mind. By my 10th grade year, I ended up convincing myself to run cross-country. I am so happy I did, it is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. This decision resulted in me continuing to run throughout my high school career. I loved running so much in high school, that I wanted to pursue it in college. I knew that if I trained hard, that I could be strong enough to join the team in college.
How did I start running in college?
I never actually joined the team until second semester freshmen year. This is because I was too nervous and thought that I would not be able to keep up with the harsh demands of college running. However, I kept finding myself wishing I had joined cross-country throughout the fall of my freshmen year. Finally, in the second semester, I was able to convince myself to run.
As I was too scared to set up an actual meeting with the head coach of cross-country/track, I ended up signing up for a spin class that he taught. This enabled me to talk with him at the end of class about joining the team. Through hard work and collaboration with the cross-country coach I was able to join the team. Once again, joining the team was one of the best decisions I have made throughout my college career thus far. Practice is the highlight of my day and I continue to strive to get better.