As long as I can remember I’ve always loved running. I loved running after my brothers, I loved racing the neighbor kids, I loved running with my dad, I loved stepping onto the track to see how fast I could go, and I most definitely loved the wind at my back and the sun on my face. In gym class, I loved being timed in the 50 and 100 meter dash and I couldn’t wait to run the mile. Not only did I want to beat all my classmates, I also wanted to beat last year’s me. There are a lot of people who love to run, but there are also a lot of people who hate to run! Why? Why did I, and why do I, love doing something that most people find miserable!?
The credit goes to my dad. I remember being little and watching him walk out the door to go for a run. I remember when he would come back home, sweating and refreshed, feeling good that he accomplished a great feat. I remember being old enough to FINALLY join him on his three mile runs. I remember running my first year in high school and he was my biggest fan, my running partner, and my “coach.” He never missed a track meet. I remember when I went down state as a freshman in the 400 meter relay, my dad was so proud and he was not afraid to brag about me (something he still does to this day). And I can guarantee you, that when it was my turn to run, I could hear my dad cheering and yelling for me to push, to do my best, and not give in to the voice that was telling me to quit or slow down!
Unfortunately, I did begin to listen to the voices that were telling me to quit. And a short time after I started my sophomore year of track, I decided to quit. I was starting to hang out with a different crowd of kids and becoming more and more self-absorbed. I didn’t have time for track. I wanted to do other things that left little or no energy for running. And by listening to these voices I ruined what could have been a fantastic career in high school. It was unfortunate that one of the high school coaches didn’t intercede for me and say, “Suzanne, don’t quit, you could be a high school star.” But, I did quit and by doing so, I threw away any hope of setting new track records (something I swore I was going to do in the four years I was at Wheaton North High School) or a college scholarship. Running became something I used to do and something I used to be good at. It wasn’t until my senior year in college, at Taylor University, that I would decide to start running once again. And once I ran those first few solitude miles on the country roads of Indiana I was hooked immediately…
That’s awesome Suzanne! Great story! I’m so glad you decided to run competitively again. I will definitely be following your races and looking for you at the finish line. In FIRST place, of course.
Thanks Arthur! I’ll be sure to be looking for you at my races!
It is too bad that you didn’t have a coach intervene, Suzanne!! Marc coaches at Glenbard South for years tennis and still does badminton. I feel those girls are very lucky to have him because he’s the kind of coach that kids SHOULD have. The good news is you matured and decided to run in college…but even if you didn’t, you are still a star in many people’s eyes–mine included!!
Thanks, Laura! I totally agree. I’m sure Marc is a great coach and I bet if someone, on his team, who had potential was thinking about quitting he’d talk to them!