Hi, I’m Erika Moriarty from Kutztown high school. My favorite subject in school is art, specifically the advanced art class I take. I’m not sure where I’d be if I didn’t start running or what I’d be doing. If I had to guess I’d say I’d be skateboarding more often than I do now, before Covid-19, I’d be hanging with friends or working if I wasn’t in school or running. Due to the virus, I don’t have a job and I can’t see my friends too often. My plans for the future are to become a tattoo artist/ art teacher and hopefully continue running and competing at Shippensburg University. Last thing I’d like to share is how I got into running. In 7th grade I signed up for xc thinking it was track and I was going to be a sprinter, but little did I know, that was not the case. The first day I ran for probably 2 minutes, told my coach I was quitting, then still showed up the next day. I continued to dislike the sport, but I didn’t want to be a quitter. Over time, I improved more and more, and realized the potential I had. That year I ended up medaling at my first county meet (7th grade), receiving a trophy the year after (8th grade), then high school came along. Surprisingly, I was prepared for the extra mile and became the number one runner for Kutztown’s girl’s team during my freshman year. I medaled in everything from counties, to invites, to districts and even states my junior year. Although I was successful and had potential to do great things, I never considered myself dedicated until Covid-19 struck. I never was consistent with my summer miles, and would never go the extra mile, literally and metaphorically. But during the pandemic I have yet to miss a day of running and my pace has increased in speed significantly. I learned to love the sport and the friends I made by doing this sport. I now consider myself a dedicated runner and absolutely love every moment, even the painful ones. I went from almost quitting, to becoming extremely motivated, dedicated, and overall successful. All you have to do is put your mind to it, and not give up on yourself.