Page Yanity - Senior

"I started running after the 8th Grade when my little brother dared me to run around the block and betted that I wouldn't make it for a mile. I had quit dancing the year before and felt really physically crummy all year, so I took up the offer, ready to prove him wrong because a mile seemed like nothing. I made it twice around the block before dying (three times around it is one mile). But, I felt the best I had all year, and kept running to meet my goal of a mile and maybe work up to a 5k. At the end of the summer I could run two miles and the next summer I ran my first 5k-the Mutt Strut (with dogs) on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. I started running for Mauldin High School my Sophomore Year in track season......sort of. I conditioned with the team all winter, but the day before the first meet, I felt an extreme shock in my left leg and I was limping even when I walked. I went to the trainer and he told me to take the weekend off--which turned into three months due to a fibula stress fracture. I missed the entire track season and when I came back to running at the beginning of the summer, after two weeks of training my right leg began to hurt and it apparently "compensated" for my left leg's weakness, thus giving me the same injury on the opposite leg. I missed the entire summer of cross country conditioning....but I still really wanted to run (even if it was just for one meet with one able leg).  I kept thinking back to March, when I found out I couldn't run at all, and Coach Howell told me that I had two choices: I could either cross train and keep up with the team or I could "float away." I really wanted to be a part of the team, and I knew if I quit then it would be extremely hard to come back. So I cross trained daily in the spring and over the summer on the bike, elliptical, and in the swimming pool, trying to mimic the speed workouts we did earlier in track. I was finally able to come back in September, not in the best shape but in much better shape than I could have been in, and I finally got to compete with the team."