By Cole Johanson, junior
EXCELLENCE INSPIRES US.
Go to the running section at your local NikeTown and you’ll find a shirt, in various different colors, that stands out: “RUNNING SUCKS”. It’s a popular slogan that many runners use, which is obviously ironic given that for some of these runners, they love nothing more than going for a 5 mile jog every day. I wouldn’t say I am an avid runner, but I run the 1500 meter race for the varsity Beaverton High Track and Field team – and I love racing. But I will tell you the same thing; running sucks.
Running long distances challenges you much more mentally than physically. Sure, on the 9th mile out of your 10 mile run, or on the last lap of your race, your lungs are burning and your legs are dying. But there is a mindset that good runners (and all great athletes for that matter) have that allow them to succeed; they embrace the struggle, the burn, and they keep going. Great runners accept the fact that running sucks, and it’s the reason they love to do it; there is nothing more satisfying than pushing your body to a point of exhaustion where it has never gone before, and to keep going after that. Running challenges the mind more than any other physical activity, because there is often no end goal in sight. Just keep putting one leg in front of the other until you can’t do it anymore.
I round the corner of this endless black circle, heading into the final hundred meters of this devastating 1500 meter run. Two runners are ahead of me, and my body is telling me to accept third place. But I have the mind for running, the mind that loves to see how far its body can take it. I try to churn my legs even faster than they are going, expecting them to fall off. But the human body is amazing, and my legs take me past the two other runners on my left and in to first place.