New Year’s resolutions into new realities


Claire Meyer

As a form of aerobic exercise, running can reduce stress and improve heart health.

I am not going to lie, a lot about the recent world situation feels bleak. Pretty much everything is canceled, the only thing we have to do now is online homework and Tik Tok, and we can’t leave our houses to go visit family or friends. It has not been a good spring for the world as a whole.

And, for me at least, I am learning to be okay with that. My junior year did not go as planned, but there really is not anything I can do about that. As I write this, I know that I can’t do anything about the many disappointments that have happened over the last few months. And it needs to be acknowledged that this is very difficult for many people. But, it can’t be dwelled on. I am included in this.

It had been a dream of mine to complete something so challenging since I was little.

— Caroline Ragland, 11

In January, I set out a very big goal for myself. I wanted to run a 10k. It had been a dream of mine to complete something so challenging since I was little. I grew up watching my dad run these races, and I always admired how much effort and time he put into challenging himself in that way. I had been a runner on and off since I was in eighth grade, but I never set such a definitive goal for myself.

Running that much, at one time, with other people, is a very hard thing to do. The race is about six miles, but there are other factors contributing to its difficulty. When I run by myself, there is no one around. I can stop and break for as long as I want, it’s silent, and most of all, it is usually dark. A 10k is a timed race. There really isn’t a lot of time to waste. This is a big deal.

It’s different in other ways too. Running in a race isn’t like running around a neighborhood at 5 a.m., runners are actually competing. And while there is a lot of camaraderie surrounding the event as a whole, there’s also a level of competition. And, as someone who does not enjoy exercising around people, it takes a lot of courage to leave my comfort zone to get out there and run with strangers.

Despite all of this, I was doing really well. I began training at the end of December, and I was on track to being able to finish the race with a good time and with a few breaks squeezed in. And then, much like other things I was looking forward to, my 10k was canceled. The announcement came right before spring break that my goal race, which was in May, wouldn’t happen.

It felt like all of my work was for nothing.

— Caroline Ragland, 11

I was crushed. I spent three months preparing for this, and in three sentences, it felt like my entire progress was pointless. I was eating right, I wasn’t drinking sodas, and I was getting up really early in the morning. It felt like all of my work was for nothing.

After that, I went to New York with the band. I ate everything I could, I only drank sodas, and I spent the two weeks after sleeping and staring at my phone.

It took me a few weeks to get up and start running again. I worked up to two miles a day on rougher trails. I was really doing well. I became motivated and I was feeling really good about myself and my situation as a whole.

Quarantine isn’t fun for anybody. But, we all have to make the best of the situation, and for me, that is running.