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cadet blogs

Running Down a Dream

(Athletics, Overcoming Challenges, Class of 2017) Permanent link   All Posts
Culp Photo Actually, not really a dream… I never had grand aspirations of running a full marathon until last May. In fact, if you had told 4/c or 3/c me that I would ever run more than three miles at once, let alone 26.2, I would have run far, far, away from you. (Nah, scratch that. I would have power-walked, because I didn’t do that whole “running” thing.) But some switch flipped in 2/c me. My marathoner friends certainly influenced me, but I think the interest stuck when I realized that running actually doesn’t have to be miserable. I go at my own pace, on my own schedule, with my own goals and, believe it or not, running became one of my favorite hobbies. Maybe it’s because I know I’m taking care of myself; maybe it’s because my workouts are the 1 to 2 hours where I truly do get to be left alone; maybe it’s because I have seen a significant and rewarding increase in my fitness over the last couple of years. Regardless, I have, at this point, completed two half-marathons and a full marathon! 4/c and 3/c Abby are calling 1/c Abby insane right now; but, so far, running those miles is one of the most awesome blessings from God in my life.

 

Physical fitness is a crucial part of cadet education (hence physical fitness exams twice a year), but I’ve learned working doesn’t have to be some brutal task you drag yourself through miserably every day. The Academy allows you to explore many different athletic activities to find just the right fit for your interests and abilities. For some, that takes the form of a varsity team for the sport you always played in high school – baseball, soccer, swimming, basketball, rifle, sailing, and so on. Others jump into new clubs to investigate activities like ballroom dancing, equestrian sports, or fencing. For people like me who aren’t really into the competitive nature of varsity or even club athletics, you can snag your mandatory sports credit doing something low-key like intercompany sports, and focus your efforts on those individual hobbies that make you genuinely happy and remove stress. I’ve found my athletic niche in casual, fun runs around the New England area, despite coming in as an out-of-shape swab who avoided that dreaded activity…but thanks to some awesome runner friends and the Academy’s focus on physical fitness development, that’s all changed. I can’t wait for the next race!

 

More about Abby.