An Ode To Running 


Photo by Sam Holas.

Timmy Parsons, Staff Writer

Lacing up my spikes one last time for my most recent track meet, preparing for the race ahead, my brain flashed to my previous six years as a track and cross country athlete. Has time really passed that quickly? Have all those years truly led up to this moment? 

When I first joined cross country that fateful day in 6th grade, I never expected myself to last in the sport for as long as I did. As a 12 year old, I had never pushed myself that hard. Even though practices were only two days a week, I dreaded the afternoons when practice would come around. At the time, the sport was a chore, an obligation to be busy – to be an athlete. 

When the time came to join a sports team in middle school, I signed up for cross country and track. Not because I wanted to, but because I was told I had the build for it. My naive little self had no idea what that even meant. As each year of the sport seemingly flew by and my personal records became faster and faster, my love for the art of running grew. What was once a burden quickly became the highlight of my day. 

Flash forward to the present day. As I crossed the finish line for my last high school race, I couldn’t help but feel a profound amount of love for a sport that had taught me so much. Now, every time I walk out the door and start a run, my cadence quickening as my anticipation swells, I cherish the beauty of the Earth around me. I breathe in the crisp air, reminiscing in the serenity of my thoughts. In running, I have discovered the power of movement, the strength that comes from consistency and the indescribable joy of simply being alive. 

Beyond the physical realm, running has gifted me with the ability to clear my mind and speak to my soul. With every step I take, the chaos of the world fades to the background, my worries consumed by the rhythmic pounding of the ground. In these tranquil moments, I allow myself to connect to my deepest self. Running has become my sanctuary, my confidante, my escape from reality and my best friend. 

Most importantly, running has allowed me to form lasting friendships that span far beyond my individual realm of growth. Through running, I have found friends united by a shared passion and one goal. With my friends, I have run mile after mile, persevering even when the weight of life tried to drag us down. Running has formed chapters of my life that I will forever cherish, highlighting the beauty of teamwork, love and the memories that are created when lives intertwine. 

As I prepare to leave the years of life we call high school, I simultaneously prepare to bid farewell to competitive running. While it’s unlikely that I will ever run with the frequency I do now, I will forever remember the hours I spent traversing the journey of running – and its gift of self-discovery, growth and love. To anyone looking for something to challenge themselves – try running. I promise you, it’s worthwhile.