Running toward my future self


Olivia Oliver

My dad has always been someone I have looked up to. He is a smart and caring person, who takes initiative and gives back to others. 


Being a dad, he is always trying to get me to do things that could improve me as a person. Whether it be a comic-book writing class, signing me up for softball, or urging me to read more challenging books. All things that I was initially against doing, but eventually went on to enjoy.


So of course, during the summer of 2021 when he suggested I do track my sophomore year, a big fat “No,” slipped from my lips. An intense and new sport that I’ve never tried sounded like a nightmare to me. But he kept encouraging me. He told me I wouldn’t regret it and that it would be a great skill, as he tried to get me to at least think about it. Eventually it worked, I began to do short runs on our treadmill sporadically. 


This occasional running turned to often, to frequent, to almost every day. After a couple of months, I had this drive and passion to become a better runner and prepare for the upcoming track season.


I used the treadmill in my basement to train and gain endurance. When I would walk back upstairs from the basement after a run, I would always update my dad on how far I ran or if I set a new personal record. He would give me words of encouragement: words that motivated me to keep going.


There would be times when I would slack off and get lazy. I would run maybe once a week, and blame it on the mountains of school work I had or that I didn’t have enough time– anything to divert the responsibility from myself. One time when I told my dad this, he responded by telling me it’s not that I can’t, it’s just that I won’t. I scoffed and rolled my eyes, like he would know. 


But the statement replayed in my mind, and I realized the true meaning. He meant I could be trying harder, that I should not be making excuses. If I wanted to be a better runner I would put the time and effort in. Simple.


Practice makes perfect as every kid is eventually taught and gets implemented into their minds. So I did.


Every compliment, every piece of constructive criticism made me want to work ten times harder. Not only for my dad, but for me. Having someone believe in me, especially my dad who I value so much, made the process go by so much easier. 


If my dad had never encouraged me, I might be sitting here today without my passion for running and new found understanding of hard work.