When I look back at how I got into fitness, the first event that comes to my mind is track and field tryouts in grade 8. Teachers had all the kids do each event and the best few would go to the city meet.

Our long distance run tryout was around the baseball field at St. Paul’s school. This was the first time I had ever done any type of structured running beside playing. We ran. I did not win. I may have been middle of the pack. So that was it for me that year.

I got this feeling after the run. I felt so good. The endorphins had kicked in and even though it was uncomfortable during the run there was something I really enjoyed about it after. At the time I had no idea why or what that meant.

The next year I was in high school, when track and field season came around, I had remembered the feeling of that run. As my friends were going out to do track and field because their older brother had convinced them, I tagged along. I knew I wanted to try distance running.

My Aunt was an avid runner. So I went to see her and told her what I was doing. She asked what I was running in? I had a pair of basketball shoes. She took me downstairs to the basement where she had a pile of shoes. She pulled a pair of the shelf and said “try these”. It was my first pair of running shoes.

They definitely made things easier. My first year I was definitely one of the slowest on the long distance team. I think I finished 7th in the city meet. During that season I started to weight train, as coaches had mentioned it and It was always something I wanted to try.

So after every practice was from 3 to 4:30 or 5pm, I would hit the weight room for a bit after.

In grade 10 I got better. I believe I finished fourth and went to NOSSA (the Northern Ontario meet) since it was in the Sault. This year I was keeping up with the running team and even getting faster than members of the team that were putting in the minimal work.

And It just kept going. The last two years I was the fastest on our team and finished third in the city and set our school record at the time for the 1500m.

I always wanted to get better and try new things. I was really good at a lot of sports but not the best at one. So this has now taken me into triathlons where I can do multiple sports and I have been able to win a few races.

A simple run started my journey and then surrounding myself with like-minded people. I never gave up even when I was at the back of the pack. Now I am a leader at the front of most races. This is 20 years in the making. So stay consistent and good things will come to you! Results do not happen overnight. What would have happened if I got discouraged about being mediocre at first and didn’t pursue running and fitness? Should you give up if your first workout is hard or you can’t keep up? Hell no. You should make it your personal goal to keep up with the group and then eventually lead the group or be the most fit in the class! One great workout will not get you results, but many consistent workouts will!

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