Train Hard, Try Hard, & Give Back

My journey began five years ago when a shy overweight individual with lung problems joined SRLA. From the moment I joined, my coach shared with me that to reach the finish line of any objective you have to ask yourself if you’ve trained hard enough, tried hard enough, and given back enough. I did not quite understand him at first, but if it weren’t for this advice I would have never completed my full potential with SRLA. As I took on my first rigorous 6 month training, I lost so much fat that my own family did not recognize me when I got awarded “Most Motivated” on our Carbo-Load Night before the Honda LA Marathon 2011. *I trained hard enough*

I never felt happier.  The marathon didn’t scare me at all, but it should have. That year it rained from morning to night. I didn’t run through the finish line that year, my gas ran out, my bones crippled, I was on my knees and crawled the last .2 miles through the finish line. I had completed my first marathon was all I could think. *I tried hard enough*

Now how could I give back if I am moving on to high school?  I had to give from what I could do. I have trained with Madrid Middle School for the past four years now. I was leading the way serving as a role model. This experience has helped me grow as a person and opened doors to meeting new people and programs. I became Class President for three consecutive years; I was an announcer at the Rose Bowl Half Marathon; I was selected as a Delegate for the American Legion Boys State 2014; and worked along side the mayor of El Monte to expand the city.  Apart from teaching students how to correctly run for long distances, I taught them how to find themselves…MY saying I left with them.

Life is your Marathon. From the beginning you only take one step at a time. The course may have its hills, bumps and cracks, but you’ll get over them. By the time you reach the 18-mile mark in your life, you’ll be tired and put to the test.  The next miles will all require more mental strength, but don’t forget that you always have the support of the spectators and the food on the side to motivate you. Don’t give up because there is no greater regret than giving up on your marathon. Once you finish your marathon and look back at your miles, you’ll see how each one counted and how important they were to you. Live your marathon, be your marathon.

I became more than just a trainer, I became a friend. Each year I came back for the kids, they gave me the energy to run back and forth with them. I taught them all I had learned so they could spread the knowledge; so they could lead the way as well. Every time “my” kids get recognized for any award, when they promote from middle school, or when they cross the finish line, it fills me with me emotion to know I was part of what helped them get there. One more year and I will have my first group get accepted to college.

I am now on my way to college myself and I finally fully understand my coach’s three steps.  This is how I live my life now.  So remember that the first three steps are the most important in anything.  The challenge is to find what your 3 steps are.  My First Step: Joining the program, Second step: Finish the marathon, Third Step: Guide SRLA kids since age 14.

– Alexis Interiano
Incoming freshman at UC Merced ’19

Alexis reached out and shared his story with SRLA through our website. Do you have a story to share? We’d love to hear from you. Share your story here.