Nathalie: Discovering New Limits

Being part of Students Run LA has made a significant impact on my life in ways I didn’t think marathon training could. Each year has been unique and special in many ways, making me want to come back for the next marathon despite all of challenges that come with training.

I think the most surprising impact SRLA has had on my life was how it has, and how it continues to, help me grow as a person and not just as an athlete. Because of SRLA, I was able to run marathons in middle school and high school, and I believe that throughout these years SRLA served as a sort of guidance. It wasn’t just the training that helped me. I never realized it at the time, but whenever a teacher would give a pep talk to the team before a race I would later use their words to push me and drive me to continue striving in virtually anything I did. Committing myself to SRLA and finishing a marathon has taught me to tackle challenges that aren’t merely physical.

I like giving my all to nearly everything I do and I enjoy discovering how far I can go, so SRLA was a great experience that allowed me to discover my limits and challenged me to push them a little more with each run. I also enjoy watching other students run a little farther and push themselves more with every run.

One of the best parts of SRLA, in my opinion, is looking back to see the change from when you started off in the beginning of training compared with how you perform at the end. It’s astonishing to realize that a long time ago I thought I would never run a marathon, but I decided to make the choice to finish one and succeeded. Before I started training, my older brother and my mom inspired me. They each have run multiple marathons, and my brother was also a part of SRLA.

This is my last year running as an SRLA student. SRLA has been one of the best, if not the best, experience I’ve had. My advice to first time runners is to find your pace and try new things to see what best fits them while running. I also think it’s nice to enjoy the view while running and have fun. In the end, all the work will be worth it so keep looking forward.

After high school I definitely plan to continue running for fun and eventually for another marathon, maybe even a few more. My plans after graduation are to go to a university, preferably UCLA. I am interested in studying abroad for a semester because I’ve always been interested in traveling to new places. Hopefully I will get a chance to travel even if it’s not that far, and save up for my future.

Do you have a story to share? Contact Naomi at naomi@srla.org for more information.