Saturday, April 2, 2011

Powered by the Heart: Part I

    The most inspiring people in life, I always seem to meet too late, or always wished I had talked to them earlier. For me they seem to be the quiet ones, and despite everything going against them, they prevail. One of my best friends, Alli Koch, is this very type of person. Alli and I ran cross country and track together for the past three years. I can't remember the exact time we became friends, but I couldn't be happier that we did. Alli has had numerous influences on me – from turning me into a vegetarian, to our deep religious discussions to help figure out what I believe, to the inspirational project she is currently working on, she is truly my role model.

    I will begin by telling you a story of Alli before I truly was able to know her. When Alli was a sophomore on the cross country team, she was faster than many of the upperclassmen. Due to being jealous of Alli's unique abilities, the upperclassmen would often ridicule Alli and make jokes about her strengths. Through all of Alli's hard work she ignored what the upperclassmen said and continued to train at the level she needed in order to accomplish her goals. I distinctly remember one practice during which the upperclassmen chain linked their arms so Alli could not pass them on the run. Alli, being the determined person she is, managed to run around the upperclassmen making her point clear and obvious to the rest of us on the team. At the district meet which occurred at the end of this particular season, Alli was not ranked as the top runner on our team. Instead one of the upperclassmen held this position. During that meet, though, Alli's time was better than all of the upperclassmen due to her hard work and determination throughout the season. After outperforming the upperclassmen, Alli did not gloat about her performance, she merely congratulated the upperclassmen, who throughout the season made fun of her, on a job well done. Alli then became the role model I chose to look up to.

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