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Smith 1Nicole SmithMrs. LesterAdvanced Grammar/Composition12 March 2012 Senior Project Speech “What kind of crazy nut would spend two or three hours a day just running”(Prefontaine)?This is one of the most famous running quotes from Prefontaine who holds manysprinting records to this day.Maybe he is wrong or maybe he is right about his interpretation ofrunning, but let me tell you about my experience with running. I love to go out and run as hard asI can.I love the feeling I get after I have reached my personal time goal that I have set formyself.I even love the pain I feel at the end of a race that I have done my best at.I loveeverything about what running makes me feel.I remember exactly when I found this love.I wasrunning the mile for the presidential physical fitness test in middle school, and I realized that Iwas one of the fastest runners. I was even beating most of the guys in the class. Prior to this, Ihad played softball for five years and I really thought that was the sport that was going to carryme through High School.Nearing the end of my eighth grade year, I hurt my shoulder and I couldno longer throw like I had been able to. It was then that I decided I was going to have to quit thissport because I realized I would never make it onto the High School team. Of course I wasdevastated, but it was then that all my friends decided we should all try track out together.Knowing the love for running I had just discovered, I decided that I would give it a try. I did notrealize it at that time, but since then, this decision has become one of the best decisions I haveever made in my entire life. Since the day I started this sport, I have grown tremendously in myrunning career.I started out as third best on the team and, slowly but surely; I have improved my
Smith 2times tremendously. I have gone from running in the 20 minutes for my 5k to running in the 18minutes.My mile time has gone from about a 6:15 to a 5:34. I have set school records and madethe all-county and all-state teams.I have qualified for state for three years, and I have beenoffered scholarships from five different colleges this year. Running has carried me through highschool in many ways. For example, I have made many friends with my four years of experience.There are people that I had no idea who they were and now we are best friends because of thefact that I met them through running on the team.Rachel Dorris, for instance is one of the bestfriends I have ever had, and I never would have met her if I had not have started running myfreshman year.She would do anything for me and help me in any situation, and I value that morethan anyone could ever possibly know. Good friends are hard to find in the world we live intoday, but my team is the truest friendship I could ever have. These are very simple facts, butthey are a big part of the reason I choose to host a 5k race for my senior project. To begin with, I will tell you that the research question for this senior project was: “Whatproblems do runners face?”The next big question that I am going to answer is: how does thistopic link to a possible career in the future? My personal reason for choosing this topic isbecause of the fact that when I get through with college, I would like to become a teacher. Inaddition to being a teacher, however, I would like to be a full time track or cross country coach.Knowing about possible problems and injuries will be very helpful to me for possibly helpingmy future athletes. In the end, the topic of running and my reason for choosing to research theseissues, ties to my product because, in the end, I wanted to host a 5k race. The researchedinformation, and the experience of putting together a race, helped me get the experience I wantedbecause I wanted to know what it would be like to organize a whole race by myself. Choosingthe product was not really a hard thing for me once I saw that I could help the church that I grew
Smith 3up in. The church that I belong to is a very special place to me, and all the people in it are likefamily.At conference one day, it was decided that we were going to have to do something aboutour parking lot. There are potholes, dents, and the lines need repainted. It was becoming a reallybad problem. Putting this knowledge with the fact that I already knew I wanted to host a race, Idecided that all the money I raised from the race would go to the church. I made my decisionright then that my product was going to be the benefit money I raised to give the church.Nowthat understand how my research led me to host a 5k race for my senior project, let’s get to thebig picture… the product. To begin with, I had to pick a project facilitator. This person was Mr. Blake Beardon.Iknew I needed someone with a good background in running, preferably someone with a lot ofknowledge about road races. I needed someone who would know all about what kind of thingsgo on at road races. I did not necessarily need someone who had hosted a road race themself, butsomeone who would have information about it. At first I was thinking about my coach, Mr. TyBrown. However, when I thought a little harder I realized that there was another person I knewthat would probably know even more than Coach Brown. That person was my secondary coach,Mr. Blake Beardon. Coach Beardon has been my coach since I was a freshman here atCreekview, and over the years we have gotten to know each other very well. He has talked aboutcountless races he has been in and I knew that he could give me many tips in the process ofhosting my very own road race. So, I asked him what he would think about being my facilitatorand he agreed. It was set. Coach Beardon was going to be my project facilitator.At this point inthe process, I was ready to actually begin working toward the product, which was raising themoney for the church. There were some problems along the way though.
Smith 4 The steps in the process of achieving my ultimate goal were pretty easy to follow.However, there were some issues along the way that I had to work through. Before I could doanything, I had to get permission from the city of Ballground to host the race in town. I made thecourse map with Coach Beardon. I took it to city hall to show them my map and ask permission.The lady in charge, Miss Karen Jordan, gave me permission to have the race in town, but sheturned down my course because she said it was too complicated. This was my first problem. Iredid the course and took it back, but she said that there was only one course I could use, and thatcourse was going to be really hilly. I had worked hard on making the maps that I made so I wasvery disappointed to hear that I could not use any of them. Not to mention the fact that, I simplydid not want to use the course they picked. The course that they picked however was the coursethat the library and elementary school used for their races, so I had no choice and it was too lateto move the race to another location. I decided to go with the change of plans and work with thecourse I was given.After this, I had to finalize my plans with the police chief, Sargent Reeves,because they were going to have to block off the roads for the race. This is where my secondproblem came into effect. I am not sure if any of you have had to deal with police before, butthey are very difficult. He was never there when I went in and then I would miss his call. Hewould leave me messages, but when I would call him back he would not pick up so I wouldleave him messages. We went around in circles like this for about a month. Finally, we got intouch and the plans were made for February 4th, 2012. I solved my problem by sticking to myefforts to get in touch with sergeant Reeves.After that, I moved forward by making a list ofeverything I needed to get for the race. I knew I needed race numbers, bananas, snacks, andwater. I thought it would be a problem with money, but as the time for the race got closer andcloser, my friends, and people from my church, started donating money and supplies.The
Smith 5possible problem seemed to just work itself out. Before I knew it, the race was almost here and Idid not have any cost out of my pocket. It was a huge blessing to have so many people help mewith this project and support my cause. The next step was getting people to actually run therace.I only had about 10 people pre-register, and the date was getting closer and closer. This wasmy fourth problem. I really thought that I was not going to have any people come, but I waited tosee what would happen. I had already made flyers and given them to over 20 people personally,put the flyer up at Boling Park which is a very prominent running spot, sent an email to all theteachers at the school asking them to tell their students, and put a flyer up at the Kroger inMacedonia.I had done everything I could possibly do, so I just waited to see what would happenon the day of the race. This patient waiting was how I solved my problem of worrying aboutpeople showing up at the race.I ended up having about 55 people do the race and I raised$1,210.00 for the church. The registration papers are in the blue folder on the table along withmy race maps and race numbers I used for the race. I was finally done with my senior projectand all I could do at that point was say a prayer thanking God for letting everything go well andhelping me make a difference in a church that I love so much. Overall, there were many steps inmaking my product a reality. There were also many problems along the way, but, in the end,everything worked out pretty well. Through this whole process, I have learned that I have to keep my stress level down whenthings get hard. Through prayer and trusting that everything will work out the way it is supposedto, I can get a lot more accomplished.I always get so worried when something does not work outthe first time I try it, and I have been that way my whole life. I had to learn to control thisproblem during this project because, if not, I honestly do not think I would have successfullyfinished. I would have been so worried about having to get everything done that I would not have
Smith 6actually gotten anything done, if that makes since. I realize that sometimes things do not goexactly to plan, but there is a reason for that. There is a bigger plan to everything that I cannotalways see, so I just need to tweak my plans and make them work another way. In the end, it willall work out if I stick to it and do not give up. I have also learned how to communicate withpeople better. Through this whole process, there were several people I had to meet and plan with.Because of this, I learned how to not be shy and ask questions when I have them. I learned howto be a leader.All in all, this whole project has been difficult at times, but it has made me realizethat I like a challenge. I know that pursuing my dream of becoming a teacher/coach is going tobe difficult at times, but I am willing to work for it. I will be attending Young Harris College in the fall to pursue my dream of becoming ateacher, and this knowledge of how to handle stressful situations will really come in handy. I amgoing on a full scholarship for grades and cross country which is going to be a lot to maintainwhen I get to college. I will have a full schedule with classes and two a day practices, and Icannot afford to let my grades or my running fall behind. Now, from this project, I know that,when I start thinking about how hard and stressful all of this is, I can calm down, pray about it,and try new ways. Everything will be ok if I just do these things. Also, this idea will keep mehealthier because too much stress is not good for the human body. In fact, from experiencethrough this project, I have learned that a person’s stress level can literally make them sick.Overall, what I have learned through this project will help me in college and when I get out intothe stresses of the work world. Thank you, judges, for your time. I hope you enjoyed my presentation because I was veryexcited to get to walk you through my experience. If you have any questions, I would love toanswer them.