Growing up, most people start with a sport at a young age and keep with it throughout their life. Others will pick it up as they get older. For Senior Will Stroud, his motivation for a sport, which was originally only for simple fun, has evolved into more over time.
“I’ve been running cross country since my freshman year,” said Stroud. “My friend Kaison Ames told me to run it with him so I figured why not, it would be great training for wrestling and I’ve just stuck with it ever since.”
Since Stroud has started running, he has picked up on some techniques.
“My favorite part about running is probably the part when I’m done,” said Stroud. “But because I’ve been doing it so long, I’ve picked up different techniques along the way. For instance, for every three steps I take, I hold my breath and then exhale. I have found it to really help my running.”
While Stroud finds different techniques to help improve his running, he still finds his home trail the most difficult.
“The hardest course I’ve ever ran has been the course here at Paoli,” said Stroud. “On the outside, it doesn’t look like it would be but the hills by the cemetery are killer and it’s ¼ a mile too long.”
Even though Stroud has a difficult time running his home trail, it doesn’t prevent him from giving all he’s got. He is actively involved in wrestling, longboarding and snowboarding, and says that cross country lead him to love these other sports.
“If you truly have a passion for running, pursue it and never give up,” said Stroud. “I don’t have that strong of a passion for running as I do other sports, but my overall advice would be to give it your all and to never give up.”
Stroud’s coach, Summer Hudelson, has watched him improve as both a runner and a person over the course of four years.
“Will has improved tremendously because of his hard work and dedication,” said Hudelson. “He is very consistent throughout the time he runs.”
Stroud does not plan to run cross country in college, but does plan to keep running solely for health purposes.
Story by India Wong
Photo by Lauren Umpleby