BY OLIVIA SIMPSON
Noam Chomsky, someone people believe to be the father of modern linguistics, said “Humans have certain properties and characteristics which are intrinsic to them, just as every other organism does. That’s human nature.”
We as humans are uniquely different from other species, and in the same light we are different from each other.
Through the instagram page, @humans.of.mariemont, it discusses how kids at Mariemont are different from each other.
Below is the completed story of a post about Bennet Turan and how he found his love for running.
My Running Career
BY BENNET TURAN
My running career started when I was in 7th grade. My mom had signed me up for cross country, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I started running in August of that year, I remember the first few days were awful and really hot.
The first meet was early, it was at Voice of America park. It was early in the morning and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was running junior varsity like a lot of the other 7th graders. My heart was pounding out of my chest as the gun was about to go off. Then the crack of the gun started, and I was off. It was scary because of how loud it was, but I started running. The race was hard and I finished with a time of 14:04.
I was also playing club soccer that year, and a couple of times I had to run before my soccer games. I started to notice that I was becoming faster, and it was amazing.
The last meet of that year, I decided I was going to run even faster. I was still running junior varsity, but I was one of the faster runners. I remember the beginning of the race, I took off and was at the front of the back for the whole race. In the end, I ran a 12:57 and I felt awful but I was very happy. I got a medal and 6th place. That was the the beginning of my cross country career.
Then track came around, not as many people decided to do it but I had fun in the past so I thought “Why not?” I ran the 800-meter and the mile. I don’t really remember 7th grade track. I also remember not doing that well.
So the summer of 7th grade, I decided I would run every day. That summer I would run 2-7 miles a day. The hours of work were hard, but if I wanted to be faster I knew I would have to sacrifice other things to do that. I tried out and made it on the junior high soccer team. I would go to soccer almost everyday of the week. Cross county wasn’t as important as it should be.
My first race of that year I was running junior varsity because I had missed the meet that determines what you would run in your first race. The beginning of the race was a little weird because I was running in a slower race than I belonged. But when the gun went off, I proved that when I ran a 12:31 and beat the kid in second place by 20 seconds. I was so happy, but I knew I had to step up my game if I wanted to be even faster.
By the end of the season that year I, ran a 11:48 which was my personal record. Looking back on that year I realized that my development had payed off with all of the summer miles. But the place that I could see the most improvement was when I was on the soccer field. I was able to outrun people and I wasn’t getting as tired in games as I previously had. This had developed me into an athletic ability I never would have been able to see my having.
That winter I told myself I was going to train hard and run every week day.
Then in March, the beginning of track, Coach Maddie was my cross country coach and luckily my track coach, too. She has inspired me to be an even faster runner then I already am. In the beginning of track I did the 800, 2-4, and 400. My 800 time was 2:35 in the beginning of the year, and I was getting top three each time. My 400 time wasn’t as good, but I still tried my best. Then mid season I started running the 4-4 instead of the 2-4. I won most of my races in the 800, which is also my favorite. I didn’t like running around the track more than two times. Which is ironic considering that I used to do the mile.
At the CHL meet at the end of the season, I was tied for 1st with two other runners, and in the end I kicked and barely beat them. It was hard but worth it. At the same time my club soccer team was doing well. I had won a lot of my games. It was a very good season.
Then came summer. I tried out for the soccer team at the same time as my cross country. Every day I would go to soccer lifting from 7:30 to 8:15, then my parents would drive me to cross county so I could run after that. That was when I started to discover that I loved running. I was able to run with the people I liked and have fun.
As the beginning of the the season approached Coach Natalie had us run a two mile timed trial to determine who would run varsity. I remember getting excited and when the coach said go I wanted to impress and be in the top 5. I ran 10:57 and I was beyond hopeful for a great season.
Then August and the beginning of the season came around, I also made the junior varsity soccer team. So I would go to soccer practice four days a week and cross county one day. Then on Saturdays I would sometimes have a soccer game and cross country meet.
My first meet was the Moeller invitational. I ran a 19:02. I got top 20, but I thought it wasn’t good enough, and I needed to go faster. Then the next meet came around, I ran a 18:45, it felt really hard.
I continued to train hard. On September 14th was my biggest time drop, Sam Beeler was hurt and couldn’t run, so Coach said everyone needed to step up their game. My motivation for this race was to be faster than the time before, no matter how hard it hurt I had to run through it. At the end of the race was where I would stop, not during the race no matter what happened. With the shot of the gun I took off trying to get a good spot, I settled behind Henry Buck and decided I could still go faster. So I kept running and telling myself that I was able to do it. Then the finish was in sight and I took off sprinting. I ran over the finish to find out I had just ran a 17:29. I was proud of myself and the excitement I had felt was indescribable.
As the meets went on this fall, I constantly stayed in the mid 17s. Then came along CHL, and I knew this was the race I had to prove myself in. It was really cold and I felt like a popsicle, but my motivation in the end was being warm. I ran that race in 17:18, the whole race my body was cold, but I knew I had to keep going and pushing.
My soccer season had just ended and I was ready for the postseason of cross county. My coach thought we were able to get 1st in our race as a team. Districts were a week away and each of us was digging deep to try and push to win.
It was good racing weather and I was excited because I had never been to districts. The girls ran before us, and they won first as a team. We were running against a few other schools and I knew who I could barely keep up with. So I would choose that person instead of being comfortable and running a slower time. I was expected to be top 10. I wanted to be top 7 so we could definitely go to Regionals next.
I remember looking around before the race and wondering if we were actually going to do as well as we were planned to. Since my soccer season was over, I didn’t have to worry about another sport. So as the gun fired I thought about all the summer training, the sweat, the blood, and the misery of the heat. These moments bonding with these other people would help each and everyone of us to do our best.
Then the gun went off and I just ran. This course was really flat so at first it was fast and then since there were no hills, it was hard to gain any speed. Around halfway through a race is when I feel the worst, that is also when I see everyone telling me to catch the next person. These moments help me to realize that I am better and I can run faster. So there I decided I was going to catch the next guy. When I did, I didn’t even look back knowing that he would be right behind me unless he was really tired. Then before I knew it the end of the race was 200 meters away, and this is where I started to sprint. As I crossed the line, I realized I had run a 17:06. I was so close to breaking the time I had thought previously impossible at the beginning of the season.
The joy I saw on my teammates’ face after a race is priceless. It is something that can’t be shared by other people.
Then before I knew it, Regionals was less than a week away. The team hadn’t been to regionals as a team in a few years. This was the beginning of an era for us. A couple of days before the meet, we went up to run the course so we would know what to expect. The course was flat with a few hills along the way. The weather the day of the race was awful even as I got on the bus it was pouring rain. The bus ride was around an hour and a half. We spent the few minutes before we had to get off the bus getting ready for the big moment. We had around an hour and a half before we ran. That is the time that I start spending getting myself mentally prepared for the race.
Then we warmed up. It was really starting to rain as we got down to the start of the course. Those 15 minutes before the race are so important to me because it’s when you realize everyone is in the same conditions and it is how you react not how others do. Then it was time for the race, everyone was still wearing all of their layers so we ran back to the start to get ready. Then we were all wearing the same thing, all cold and wet but happy. It was time to focus on the gun and just run.
Then the gun went off and I just ran. The beginning of the race is almost always too fast, but for me it is the hardest mile because I know I have to pace myself. Then the second mile, which is the most miserable for me, then I have to dig deep and pull all of my strength, my hopes, and my dreams. Then it was down to the last 800 meters and I knew that this was where I had to start passing people. As I ran I knew I had to push it I wanted to do my best. Then there was the last hill and I looked around and just took off sprinting.
I ended up getting a time of 17:28 and 25th place in the region.
If someone had told me at the beginning of 7th grade that I was going to love this sport and be great at it, I would have laughed. Back then I would have chosen to do anything but run, it was like my soccer conditioning that I had to do twice a week. Then at the end of that first season it felt like I had found my place, my people. Now looking back at my junior high career I should have chosen to run harder and be better. When I first ran I was in the back of the pack basically walking, I hated it. I saw older people in high school running and I wanted to be like them. But in order to do that I couldn’t not care.
My relationship with running has changed so much. Now I wouldn’t care what other people think when they see my shorts tan line. At first I was so embarrassed by it that I wouldn’t wear my racing shorts until the last minute. But now I know that running in longer shorts isn’t practical. Running gave me an escape from my life, I could go out and clear my head. It is now a new pride and happiness for me.