I started running in fifth grade during the Presidential Physical Fitness Tests. Two of the tests were the 50-yard sprint and 600-yard run. I wasn’t the fastest in my class, but I was close. Running as fast as I could, I discovered the freedom that running confers.
I decided to give up playing drums in middle school band to run track. I raced 100 meters, 400 meters, and the 4 x 100-meter relay. My favorite race was 400 meters, one beautiful and uncomfortable lap of the track. And I fell in love. I ran track all three years of middle school, to the chagrin of the band director who was left without a drummer. But I had a higher calling.
In high school, I went out for the cross country team in the fall, then ran indoor track in the winter and outdoor track in the spring.
Little did I know then that the love I developed for cross country and track and field would form the yellow bricks that I would follow for the rest of my life. Twenty-five years after graduating high school, I am still running six days per week and have built a successful career from running that has taken on many wonderful forms, including coaching, teaching, writing, traveling, and creating a running certification program.
What I have learned from this journey is that we all have a choice. We can choose our careers, we can choose our paths, we can even choose the color of the bricks that lay the roads we follow. I could have become a famous drummer in a band. Instead, I became a runner.
What color is your bricks?