Reason # 19: Because our mentors are great teachers

Memories made in Sole Train are memories that automatically store in certain parts of my brain that cannot be forgotten. Ever. These memories are more than good times with my fellow runners, but memories that have changed me into the person I am today.

Sole Train mentors are not like other runners who prefer running to music, or in silence, but enjoy running with smiles and words of encouragement. This year, I had the great honor of running with Josh Leffler during the half-marathon. Josh is an amazing runner but more importantly, a great teacher. He’s not like my English teacher who lectures me on how I can improve my critical reading skills. He showed me that a person’s attitude is the true indicator of how much effort the individual is willing to give.

Josh showed me how to be in tune with my environment in three steps. First, to apply myself, and throw my heart and mind into everything that I do. In doing so, it becomes easier to accomplish goals because you enter the arena with a 100, and it’s nearly impossible to fail, unless you allow yourself to be beat. Second, to take advantage of life’s flow. Running up a hill is the most painful part of any course, but coming down a hill, and allowing one’s body to naturally “fall” down the hill makes running downhill a breeze. Similarly, when faced with a difficult challenge, of course it will be hard to complete the challenge, but upon completion, one is able to relax, and enjoy the happiness of satisfaction. And third, to better understand the power of listening.  Listening to the footsteps of other runners helped me learn that we aren’t all running at the same pace, and we aren’t all running for the same times. But we are all running to the same archway with a great banner atop it reading “FINISH”. Life is not the same for every person, we each have our own goals and our own limits, but in the end we all strive to reach the finish line, we all strive to find salvation, we all search for the nine letter word, happiness.

Nickie Cheung, 11th grade, TEEP Leadership Development Program & Sole Train: Boston Runs Together

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