Genessi: SRLA Made Running a Part of My Future

My SRLA story began when I heard an announcement on the P.A. at my new school — as an incoming sixth grader at Thomas Starr King Middle School, I wanted to try a new sport. When they talked about Marathon training I knew I wanted to try out but sadly I was only a sixth grader. Throughout the school year, I saw the sweater that said Marathon finisher and immediately knew that I wanted to become one.

When the next year began, I never heard the announcement but luckily I asked my science teacher if she knew who the SRLA coach was. Her room was filled with SRLA posters and she told me she was the head coach and informed me that there was a meeting after school that day.

I trained twice a week in the beginning and realized that SRLA was no joke. Running with SRLA required a lot commitment and dedication to stay on the team. I had to attend a majority of the practices and go to each race unless an issue occurred. I made it through the first year of the SRLA season and decided to do it again.

Coming back this season as a Marathon finisher, I tried to convince some of my friends to join with me. I got my best friend to do it.

I learned many valuable lessons from SRLA that will stay with me forever; I learned how to manage my time properly, take care of myself, and become more confident. I stopping letting the negativity control me. I had the support of my coaches, friends, and family members to help me strive to the finish line at the Marathon.

At my lowest point of this season, my coach was there to lift me up. I had runner’s knee mid season and was really close to quitting the team but I knew if I backed down I would never participate in the Marathon training journey again. I kept training and by Marathon day I felt amazing. With rest, I was ready to tackle the Marathon.

The day had finally come, Marathon morning. I felt confident seeing the start line because I knew that I was going to finish. Running through the course gave me so much adrenaline because I had trained so hard for it. The results of the day would be mine because I did it for myself.

The last couple of miles were the toughest. I was in a slump for a moment and didn’t want to run. Supporters all around pushed me to a jog at least. I knew I was going to cross the finish line no matter what. I picked up the pace for the last mile and came close to a sprint as I neared the finish line.

One foot crossed the finish line, letting me know it was all over. I completed another Marathon. Waking up early for morning practices, long afternoon practices, and races all prepared me for that moment. I felt so happy to be embraced by my family at the finish line.

My second Marathon helped me flower into my current character. Running is my passion. I never want to let go of this lovely sport. SRLA left an impact on my life that cannot be undone. SRLA is a sport that has made me happy. I was sad when this journey ended.

SRLA helped me not feel isolated. It made me change my negative mentality into a positive one. I now believe that anything can be accomplished with practice. Because of SRLA I have begun to make running plans as part of my future. I hope to get into competitive long distance running from three miles to the full Marathon. I dream of winning a Marathon in the future. I would not be able to accomplish this dream without SRLA.

To support Genessi and her teammates as they work towards their dreams, make a donation today!