I never thought we would come this far.
I remember the first mile you took me on in 5th grade, and it took me over ten minutes to complete. What I really remember was my art teacher being surprised I stayed with you that long! She thought I would stop halfway through the mile! At that point, I had no desire to be involved with anything athletic.
You gave me the first chance to feel strong, but that took a few more years. My parents had to force me to you, because they decided I had to do a sport for at least one year in middle school. I chose you, because I couldn't catch, throw, tackle, or swing! You felt like the only option, and you really were. I started going out with you by myself, and it was exhausting. Every day, I would leave my house to go out with you for one or two miles months before 7th grade cross country season started. Before I could even realize it, the first day of practice had arrived, and a lot of people were shocked to see that I even showed up.
Me, athletic? That was impossible to a lot of people, especially me.
I want you to take me farther than I ever thought I would go, which is something you've already done. Running, thank you for changing me into someone that is determined to win, doesn't ever want to give up a task until it's complete, and making me the strong, confident, independent person I've become. No matter what our future holds, you will always have done that for me.Grant Norsworthy, Clear Falls sophomore
But when you took me out that day, there was only one person in front of me by the end of that run. I dusted all of the other 7th graders and all but one eighth grader. Many dismissed that as just a one-time instance, but we kept on surprising people until I got 2nd at the district meet that year.
Running, you taught me how to feel strong. Working with you to build myself up was (and still is) so empowering! I feel like a warrior with you, and that is something I rarely had before I met you. I could never dream of running a 10:14 two mile at fifteen years old, but you rewarded me with patience, drive, and attentiveness.
You have changed me into loving early mornings, my max heart rate, and collapsing onto the ground after you take me far. You taught me that I can dedicate myself enough to rise above the people who were "better" than me my whole life and could never see myself competing with.
Even when I couldn't get to you due to my stress fractures, you were there taunting me and making me work for you hours a week in the pool to get to you after I was healed. I never have stopped wanting to be with you since we met, and I hope we will never have to leave each other.
I want to stay with you for as long as my body lets me. Right now, my other friend, academics, is still in line ahead of you, but I would love for you to be a factor in what college I go to. Running at UT Austin, NYU, or Columbia is a huge dream of mine, and if you could get me there, I would be astonished.
I think there will be a point where I have to abandon you, but I hope you teach me so much more before that ever happens. I want to learn everything from you: where my limits are, how to stop giving up, and how to keep on going no matter what. There is a lot of hope in me that tells me you'll allow me to do the seemingly impossible within the next two years: break 4:25, go sub-15, and run a 9:30 or below. But in the future, I don't want those goals to stop advancing
I want you to take me farther than I ever thought I would go, which is something you've already done. Running, thank you for changing me into someone that is determined to win, doesn't ever want to give up a task until it's complete, and making me the strong, confident, independent person I've become. No matter what our future holds, you will always have done that for me.