Christopher: Commitment. Valor. Failure. Will.

Success cannot come to be without adversity. How we handle ourselves in these adverse situations, that is what defines us. And nothing has challenged me more than SRLA. Marathon training has given me a completely different perspective on life and what hard work means. Ever since I was a kid I felt as if I was never in control of my own life. I just went with the crowd and let others do the talking for me.

During my high school years, especially my senior year, SRLA has given me a fundamental groundwork for my future. It really has impacted me greatly and has been the biggest part of my life for the past four years. In middle school I was always picked on for my size, for the thoughts I bared, for the face I had, but everything changed when I joined this little running group at my small school called SRLA.

My sister Tania was a huge inspiration to me as a child. She was in SRLA and she weight lifted. She was what I wasn’t, confident in her own ability and not afraid of anything in her way. I really wanted to be like her.

SRLA, for me, was an escape. When things went wrong at home I’d funnel all of that emotion into my running. I pushed my physical limits to their breaking points; even to this point in my life I still push myself every time. I run for myself and more importantly for this amazing organization that is SRLA. In a way SRLA has saved my life. It is because of this program that I am the type of person I am today and for that I am eternally grateful. I believe that the thing I like most about SRLA is how it can genuinely change a humans fundamentals and values of his or her life. SRLA has taught me that failure is growth, relentlessness is necessary for success, and that nothing good falls into your hands. This is why everyday is so important. Commitment. Valor. Failure. Will.

In this world, life is what you make of it, it owes you nothing. And for me, SRLA was a binding force to hammer my will into a sharpened blade that can cut into any situation. I will continue to run after high school, pursuing different titles, records, and personal challenges. SRLA I owe you my life, you have truly made me see the light at the end of the tunnel, you are my reminder that life can be beat if only you try. Only if I try and try and try will I eventually win. With each stumble I will become taller. Regret is a choice, and for those who choose to stay down, it will be a choice they will never know. Thank you so much SRLA. I wholeheartedly believe that this program will continue to inspire and save countless teenagers from their problems. Never stop giving, because what you give cannot be replaced with anything else in this world.

To support Christopher and teammates on their journey next year, make a donation today. To share your SRLA story, email Naomi at