Dear Running: The Lessons I've Learned This Year

Dear Running,

We have had our ups and downs, especially downs. But I am now thinking about it and all the downs have taught me valuable lessons.

Lesson Number One: See the positive. When a workout doesn't go my way, sometimes I have to sit down and evaluate it. It's then I realize that it's just one day, and I got through it and hit my times: that's all that matters. Sometimes I'm too hard on myself and think I need to go way under the goal times, when I don't. I had a really tough day the other week and I have this app on my phone called "motivation." I get 5 quotes daily every day and it said, "You're going to go through tough times, that's life. But I say, 'Nothing Happens to you, it happens for you.' See the positive in negative events."- Joel Osteen. That quote helped me so much that day and it reminded me that even if I had a bad day, it might have just been my body telling me to take it easy. I had some hard training before that day anyways.

Lesson Number Two: Always trust the process. Over the summer my team and I were having a tough time with training; everyone was getting hurt left and right but our coaches kept telling us, "we are gonna get on that podium this year. I know it." Not a single one of us believed it because of what was going on at the time. We still all worked our butts off to make the best of the season, regardless of our current circumstance. Fast forward to December 7th 2019, and we were announced as the national champions. We all thought we were dreaming and little did we know that we just had to trust the process.

Lesson Number Three: Run for the team. Right now, it's a difficult time for all the runners who aren't able to train with their teammates. Even though they have the support of their teammates, they don't feel it because they aren't right with you like they usually would be. I know, personally, I work best when I am with the ones that support me the most, and not being able to train with them has been a bit hard, especially mentally.

Last week, I ran with an "old" teammate of mine (social distancing of course). I say old but she is just a freshman in college, Kelsey Chmiel. I ran with her and she was very positive and really helped me out. It reminded me of the good days when we would train together, and we would have some of the best days at practice. It would really motivate me to finish the run for the team, and train for the team.

I never like training for myself. I like training for the team and I'll always do it if it helps the team. Just a reminder, not forgetting to have fun while running is most important. I am sad that the New Balance Nationals Indoors was cancelled. My team worked very hard to put up a great relay.

I'm gonna end this off saying 2020 Outdoor Track Season may or may not be happening, but all I can say is everything happens for a reason and god always has a plan even though it might not seem like it at the moment. We will just have to see what the rest of 2020 has in store for us.

Sincerely Ella Kurto
Saratoga Springs Sophomore (left)