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The runner's race

Although I didn't enjoy every workout, running is more than my 5:30 a.m. wake-up call

Published: Thursday, November 1, 2012

Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2012 01:11

As a cross country runner I’ve been programed to function early in the morning before the rest of the world around me wakes up. Getting up and going to practice has been a part of my life for so long that I just don’t know if I could change my ways. But as a senior planning on graduating in May and with one year of eligibility left, one question is constantly on my mind. Am I still willing to pursue a collegiate running career as a fifth year senior?

For the past 10 years my life has revolved around running. I’ve made countless sacrifices for this sport that I’m sure many runners can relate to. I’ve told my friends that I can’t go out because I have to go to sleep at 9 p.m. I’ve passed up eating perfectly good cookies. I’ve allowed my feet to turn into those of a Hobbit, calloused and with the occasional nail falling off. And even though I haven’t had the career that I had planned since I signed my letter of intent, I’m so happy to have had the experience of being a collegiate runner.

There have been times when I’ve gotten so caught up in running that I’ve forgotten that I’m at Texas A&M to go to school. Sometimes I just thought of having class as an extra perk. To my dismay I’ve had many phone calls from my dad to remind me that in reality it was the other way around, student comes before athlete.

Like other aspiring athletes, I came here filled with so much hope. I had high expectations for what I could accomplish but dreams that I had soon dwindled as I was struck with injury. Since then I’ve felt that I haven’t been able to reach my full potential but maybe if I can get the track gods on my side for the next few months I can become a miracle in the running world.

During my years on the team I’ve learned to master basic life skills, one of them being the art of time management. I learned to not show up late to practice because there’s the chance I’d just be told to leave. I know how to successfully set an alarm to wake up in the morning. It has been reiterated to me for the past three years to be on time and go to class. As a result I’ve been able to get my act together and I now have no patience for late people.

I’ve also grown to understand the power of perseverance. There have been many days when I wanted to give up on running. During the grueling workouts when I’d be fighting to hold onto the pace I’d often think to myself “why am I doing this? What am I putting myself though all of this pain for?”

 

I love how running gives me time to myself. Even though I’m usually running with a group of chatty, gossipy girls, running gives me a chance to think. When I’m not listening to other people’s discussions, I often have conversations in my head. I think about things I’d like to say to certain people but never actually do. And then there are the occasional days when I talk to myself in Spanish and wish I were like the native speakers in my classes who I can never really understand.


Running is supposed to be fun. Although I haven’t enjoyed every workout I’ve run, looking back I’m glad that I finished them and fought to hold on even when I didn’t think I could. It’s funny how you surprise yourself with what you can do if you put your mind to it.

 

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