I started running in middle school, going for short runs with my dad and doing some 5ks. When I got to high school, cross country seemed like a good way to meet some nice people. My enthusiasm for running and desire to improve increased steadily.
The summer after 9th grade I decided I wanted to get a ton faster. I looked at results from my team for the past few years and found an older teammate who improved the most between freshman and sophomore year in cross country. She said she ran 300 miles that summer, so I ran 350.
The summer after that, sensing that 50 miles per week wouldn’t cut it anymore for me, I upped it to 60-70. By 12th grade I was extremely anemic and having zero fun running. After a brief stint on the wrestling team and a terrible track season, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue running on a team in college. A high school teammate and friend was on the team at my college so, partially out of a sense of social necessity, I decided to give it a try, figuring I could quit after the cross country season ended in a couple of months.
Of course, three days in I was hooked, in love with the team and more excited by the sport than I’d felt maybe ever.