Why I Run

Running is often viewed as an atrocious activity that is forced upon society; however, its pessimistic reputation conceals its amazing benefits and qualities.


Jake Dietlin, Reporter

Running is something that many people deem dreadful, painful, and downright awful. People surmise that this activity is merely a necessity in maintaining fitness or a small factor in their exercise goals. Don’t get me wrong, distance running evokes a love-hate relationship for every runner, but it takes time and consistency to appreciate this beautiful, natural, and joyous sport. Although nearly every runner experiences moments of doubt and pain, we run for greater reasons. I run for greater reasons. 

Firstly, I run for the social aspect of the sport. This sport allows for endless hours of chatting with teammates and creates eternal bonds with both the coaches and the athletes. Additionally, during local competitions with other teams, I establish new friendships with incredible individuals who I would have never known if it weren’t for running. On a smaller scale, the sport gives the Casa Grande cross country and distance track team an excuse to converse; the track gives us a place to work hard, grow as a team, and create lasting memories.

I run for our coaches, Carl Triola and Jamie Pugh. They are like mentors to me and help me accomplish my goals. Our coaches care about their athletes; both runners themselves, they love the sport and go above and beyond to make cross country and track the best experiences possible. I run because I recognize their dedication and genuine passion for our team. On the coldest days during the most strenuous workouts, they authentically remind us athletes that hard work evolves into success both mentally and physically. Last track season, Coach Pugh’s training calendar had scheduled us to run 400-meter repeats, or one lap around the track, fourteen times. Ah, the dreaded 400s. Already a hellish craft by the devil, the arduous workout became much more of a threat as ominous clouds rolled in, brewing an intense hailstorm with unforgiving winds. 

“Alright guys,” said Pugh, “I will shorten the workout to ten repeats; however, these ten must be quality. It is in these times that those who truly want it in their heart are separated from those who will give up. Who are you going to be?” As we toed the line for the first repetition, we were terrified of what followed; we knew that the coaches would morally support us, but it was up to us to get the physical part done. On the second rep, the hail began to pummel our bare heads. As a group of just us teenage boys and girls, we suffered; but when we finished the rep and returned to the coaches, we were rejuvenated. Coaches Pugh and Triola are irreplaceable figures in my life: they encourage us to give our best effort every day.

I run for satisfaction and happiness with myself. During the most grueling workouts or treacherous races, I know that when I complete the task at hand, I will be pleased with what I have accomplished that day. It does not matter whether I execute the race of my life or drag my feet to a protracted disappointment; I will always go home that night with some degree of accomplishment. Great races are gratifying, but bad performances build character and motivate me to train harder for the next one. 

I run for my teammates. They are the brothers that I never had, the friends who never lose faith in me, and the people that I am willing to leave it all out there for. For those who are unfamiliar with cross country scoring, the top five runners on the varsity team contribute to the team score. With that being the case, all five of us count; in fact, all seven runners on the varsity team are vital in determining whether we are a weak team or a state-qualifying team. Although I’m normally not top three on our team, I usually fall in the fourth and fifth spot; every time that we race, I know that I still need to give it everything I have, because all of us matter. The jubilation of watching my teammates run phenomenally and running well myself is truly unmatchable. I am so thankful to be involved in our indestructible ring of support, and this includes the varsity girls and the junior varsity teams.

Running is more than just an activity, a healthy exercise, an excuse to get outdoors; it is something that gives me optimism for the future and something that makes me grateful for the amazing people I have met, the knowledge I acquire, and the personality I will assemble.