By Andrew Bonifas
In the Walt Disney film “Finding Nemo,” the character Dory continuously reminds Nemo to “just keep swimming” despite every obstacle or setback. When I was little I did not understand the value of this advice, but as I matured I embraced it with my own personal twist. I believe that you should just keep running.
I am a runner. I have always been. Running is not a painless effort. It doesn’t matter what type of run it is. You could be doing speed, distance, a nice easy jog, or a competitive run. It will still be a grueling task. I have experienced many different pains while running and as a competitive runner the only way to get better is to keep going. For example, side stitches are a huge pain that force me to make a decision to either keep going or to give up. I know I will never get better if I just give up. There is strength in not giving up when it hurts. I believe in the strength that comes from conquering pain.
My freshman year I was slow. This was because I had tendonitis in the joints of both my knees and ankles. I would have never gotten faster if I didn’t believe I could just keep running. I went to a doctor for help and he told me to stop running and do something non-impact. That’s when I joined the swim team for the winter after having a rough cross country season. I realized that my philosophy of “just keep running” was a mantra that encompassed more than I originally intended. It was a manifesto about how I would approach adversity. Running taught me to keep going. I kept going in the pool. After I joined the swim team I started to notice some benefits from cross training. When I was able to start running again, I experienced a gigantic improvement. I dropped over two minutes off my previous cross country time all because of my philosophy. There is strength in not giving up. I believe in the strength that comes from perseverance.
This philosophy no longer only applies to running, but it applies to how I approach life in general. Even when I want to quit, I don’t stop. Even when there is pain, I keep going. Even when I was struggling with running physically, I never stopped trying to mentally improve my chances. This is because I believe in running. I believe in perseverance. I believe in “If it does not kill you, it makes you stronger.” I believe that people should never stop running- whether it be physically or mentally – or both. There is strength in running. I believe in the strength that comes from running.
Andrew Bonifas is a senior at Sidney High School. He is the son of Mark and Carey Bonifas. In the fall he plans to study chemical engineering. He loves to run, swim, and hang out with friends. He is looking forward to moving to a new place in the fall to attend college and learn new things.