What Running has Taugt Me, by Weber Long

Hey all, welcome back for part 2 of me writing. This time I will talk about what running has done for me, how it has changed me, etc.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from this sport, one of them being that you don’t know what God will do with your life, or where he will take you in your journey. When someone is a national champion, you often hear them saying things like “I’ve been running since I was in 3rd grade”, or at least a very young age. I think sometimes this makes it look like if you started running your freshman year of high school, you don’t have a chance to compete with someone who’s been running from an early age. But, also sometimes that’s the complete opposite. (I mean, look at Gary Martin: 4:03 state record mile as a junior, and he started track as a freshman, and didn’t run anything over an 800 until he was a sophomore). All this to say; just because your story is different from someone else’s doesn’t mean you can’t do the things they do, aka run as fast as them.

Another lesson I learned is to stay humble, and never become arrogant. As soon as you do that, that’s when you’ll start getting worse. Arrogance can make you believe you know everything, and will eventually cause you to stop listening to your coach and others. And if that happens, you’ll never be able to get better. Also, if you think you’re better than everyone else, something will go wrong eventually. There are a lot of examples of this happening, just google people celebrating too early and you’ll see what I mean. Nobody is ever really the best, all of the time. Take the Olympic Trials 800 finals into consideration. The American record holder, Donovan Brazier, got dead last in a race against people he’s beaten before. It just so happened that he had a bad race. (Nothing bad about Brazier though, he’s always very humble and has a great attitude all of the time).

To keep this from being too long, I’ll only talk about one more lesson I’ve learned, one that I think is pretty important. It’s that you never really know where God will take you, or what he will do with your life. When I was in middle school, I never would have guessed that eventually I’d be traveling all over this side of the country to run. I never would have guessed that I’d meet all the people I’ve met recently. It’s taught me that even though some of my races don’t go the way I wanted them to, there is always something better waiting on the other side of it. As a quick example, here are some of my worst races: Mid Penns 2018 Cross Country, indoor states 1600 in 2019, East Coast Invitational Mile 2021, 2020 States Cross Country. They all went terrible, so bad that the East Coast Invite Mile was slower than my 3200 pace at the end of this season. 

As a final thought to cap this off, I’ll say that God works in ways we don’t understand sometimes, but I’ve learned to never worry about something bad for too long, because it often times ends with something good.

East Coast Invite Mile (where I ran 4:30 and came in close to last in my heat)