by Allyson Felix
Today marked the very first National Running Day! As a runner it’s very exciting to see the birth of a movement that is commited to helping people live healthier through running! It got me thinking about the many great things that running has given me the opportunity to experience in my life.
I started running in the 6th grade, my family had just moved to Denver, CO and in Denver track was a fall sport. My dad said that sports were the best way to meet new friends so my brother and I gave it a shot. I had a lot of fun running in middle school, but I wasn’t the best and my form definitely needed a lot of work (I wish you could see some of the videos) It wasn’t until high school that I really started to see a lot of success on the track. And then it all happened so quickly! Before I knew it, I was running in the state finals as a 9th grader and it seemed like in the blink of any eye I had broken Marion Jones’ high school 200 meter record and the Olympics started become a very realistic dream. My family and I decided that becoming a professional track and field athlete while still getting my education at the University of Southern California was the best way for me to go. Running has been such a blessing in my life, allowing me to see the world and experience so many things that I never would have imagined were possible.
So thank you, running. Thank you for the so many friends that I was able to meet through you. Thank you for the hard work and determination that you helped to instill in me. Thank you for the tearful motivation that only an Olympic Silver Medal can bring. Thank you for helping me to realize that life is such much more than a medal or a time. Most importantly thank you for helping me to understand that God gives each of us gifts and it’s our responsibility to use them for him.
Happy National Running Day!