I began running after getting cut from soccer in my sophomore year of high school, and joining the cross country team was one of the most important risks I have ever taken. I had never run more than 3 slow miles at a time, but all of the sudden I was going on 60 minute runs every Monday and buying a pair of spikes because sneakers just wouldn’t cut it in races. In my senior year, I dropped swimming in the winter and did indoor track for the first time, only to get a stress fracture during the peak of my season. Almost exactly a year later in my freshman year at RIT, I got another stress fracture. But being injured twice had only temporarily set me back physically. Mentally and emotionally it has strengthened my love for the sport, increased my determination to persevere through challenges, and has helped me develop patience and trust in myself, my training and my coaches.
I have been so lucky to have joined amazing teams in high school at Lincoln-Sudbury and in college at RIT. In high school XC was easily the most important thing in my life during the fall and I learned so much about race strategy and commitment from my coach Henry and my teammates as we raced together. In college Coach Stevens has taught me about mental toughness and process oriented goals, and from Coach Warth I have learned about the importance of consistency and how to be tough in races. When I entered college I had a lot of personal goals for running-what times I wanted to get, what races I wanted to qualify for. I wondered if my team would be as close and committed as it was in high school; I never expected to be part of something like Tiger Trail.
When we first started talking about Tiger Trail it seemed like an unattainable dream, something to fantasize about but something we would be silly to attempt. But I have been impressed with everyone’s dedication and enthusiasm thus far and of what we have already accomplished, and now Tiger Trail is real and I am so excited! I think a lot of people will be surprised when we pull this off, and it will be very satisfying to prove what we are capable of, representing RIT and women in athletics along the way!