Wanted to take a moment to not only wish you the best of luck down in Georgetownbut along the rest of journey. Rachel you are an incredible athlete and person. Icould rattle off page after page and list your athletic accomplishments, times,performances and awards. But what’s the point; you have the plaques and trophies,you remember the races, you remember all your times, or better yet the times of thenew goals you have set. So instead I am going to share with you why I think youhave achieved so much and why you are capable of so much more!You have always been a very enthusiastic and highly motivated Sachem teammate.You always want to be better, achieve more, and aspire to another level. Yourpassion and excitement are incredible. I can easily tell you that many athletes havephysical talent, a lot are even talented and work hard, but it is only a rare few thathave a yearning, a burning passion so strong that they are truly capable ofdeveloping their talents and accomplishing greatness. You, Rachel Paul, in myopinion happen to be one of those rare athletes on the road to greatness.You are always hungry for more, excited by a challenge, eager to push yourself,demanding more out of your body and refusing to accept anything less than yourbest. It is these qualities in your character that have allowed you to accomplish whatyou have so far and will be the essential elements required to take you where youwant to go. It is this passion that is contagious. Look at how great SEGVT&F wasduring your Sachem career. They rose to being a national level track and fieldprogram, why, well because you had national caliber talented athletes. How didSachem get so lucky to have all that talent living within one school district on LongIsland? It got that lucky by having Rachel Paul living within the district. You helpedpush your whole team; you demanded dedication and hard work at practice. Youdemanded each and every teammate push herself in competition and you setprecedence that mediocrity was never acceptable. In order to be satisfied one wouldhave to work hard, push hard, and fight hard. You lead by example, you lead byencouragement, and you lead by exemplifying what it means to be a captain.I have never seen you give up in a workout, practice, or race. The only time you havefailed to reach your potential is when doubt took over. Doubt can be our worstenemy, especially as a distance athlete where the battle set before us on the track iscertainly more than 50% mental. Doubt takes away our fierce fighting instinct thatwe need to kick in during a race.You are off to Georgetown, on an athletic scholarship! Wow is all I can say, justpause for a second and re-read that, Georgetown on an athletic scholarship…do youunderstand the magnitude of that accomplishment? That alone is impressive, but Iknow you, you are Rachel Paul, and making it there is not enough. No infact youchose to go there (after all you were recruited, sought out by top running institutesacross the nation), why did you choose to go there? Well to put yourself in the bestpossible environment. An environment that would push you, and not a little, but alot. It would constantly push you, test you, and challenge you. You sought out a placewhere everyday, every workout, every race you would be surrounded by high
levelathletes, that were highly motivated and talented. Athletes that may or may notbe more talented than you. Athletes that on paper had better performances thanyou. Athletes that you could look up to, strive to be, and one day strive to beat! Youchose the challenge and you are beyond ready to face that challenge.Not everything happens in one season, one year, or even one college career. Thegreat thing is it is actually always happening, slowly behind the scenes, every hardworkout, every long run, every situp, crunch, and curl. It happens every time we laceup our trainers, pull back our hair and click through our watch. It happens everydrink we opt not too take, every party we come home early from because we knowthat the next morning we have an important day of training waiting for us. You aresomeone that already makes the right decisions, who knows the consequences andeven more importantly understands why these choices are worth it.You have trained religiously to prepare for preseason. You didn’t just show up, gothrough the motions and fill in your training log. (I did find it kind of amusing thathalf way through the summer was the first time it occurred to you that you couldcheat and tell your coach whatever you wanted because he wouldn’t really know.That fact that “cheating” never once crossed your mind is just yet another testamentto your character.) No you day after day, sweat soaked session after session youpoured you heart and soul into physically pushing your body. You always have. Youattacked each hard workout, picked up heavy dumbbells, and when not satisfiedwith enough ab work added your own supplemental intense routine, in addition toyour prescribed training! You did this during the hottest of hot days in the humidlong island summer. You did this when you were sicker then you were willing toadmit. You did this why, well because you needed to be ready. You did this for fearof not being prepared was far worse than any physical pain you had to endureduring training. You did this because now, now you Rachel Paul have finallygraduated from high school and are ready to be an elite colligate runner.Never forget all that you have accomplished, but more importantly how and why itis that you were capable of these accomplishments. You are destined for greatnessand the greater the glory that lies ahead, waiting to be attained the harder and morechallenging the journey set before us will be. You are ready for this journey, you areready for all the challenges, twists and turns, the ups and downs, the defeats,failures, setbacks and after you have survived all of this, (which I have no doubt thatyou will) you will be ready to soak up all the glory, and will be beaming with prideand smiling inside and out!I am so excited to watch you along your journey. I bought you this pin at theOlympics. It is a collector’s pin that celebrated the Opening Ceremony. The OpeningCeremony is what kicks off the games, signaling that it is time, time to begin, time tomake it all happen. You are standing on the starting line of your adult life, and in afew short days the gun will be going off. You will be off, off on your way, off on themost exciting journey! Just as I stood at the Opening Ceremony, more giddy andexcited then you could ever know, anxiously waiting for the Games to begin and my
moment to come, I also stood there prepared and ready, in the best shape of my life.You too stand on the starting line ready prepared. Equipped with all the talent,skills, and character that you will need to achieve all your dreams. I am so proud ofyou Rachel and cannot wait to be the spectator watching your journey!The Olympic Games has been the greatest experience of my athletic career. Thefeelings I experienced can never be explained in words. I chose this pin for you foranother reason. I believe that you too can make it here, here to the Olympic Games,that is if you want it. Let this pin symbolize me belief and excitement in you andyour abilities. Everytime you see it remember that if I believe in you, that you toobetter ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!One last word of advice before you step on the starting line, life is a journey not adestination so remember to have fun and enjoy it along the way. Because when therace is over no matter what the outcome, you need to have enjoyed getting there,!Best of luck Rachel, Remember nothing happens over night but every night it ishappening!On your mark,Get set,Go!....................