No. 110 [Runners]

Photo by James Rogers

Photo by James Rogers

“My high school coach, we call him Coach Pi. I remember going to Illiana Christian, my high school, and [my sister] played volleyball and basketball, and they had cross-country practice around that time. I’d walk in, and I knew [Coach Pi] was the cross-country coach. He’s not a weird-looking guy, but he just kind of stands out just the way he is. He’s like 55 and wears running shorts, and he’s muscular and stuff—he just stands out. I wasn’t even going to do cross-country, and my mom just told me during the summer while they were at cross-country camp, ‘You should go [to the practice for non-camp runners].’ My mom told me to go, and I just ended up doing it. Even now, and during my whole high school career, [Coach Pi] was always doing things to make it fun. We’d play Ultimate Frisbee sometimes when heck, we could’ve been getting injured. We did football tosses and made running fun. He just did the silliest things, and at the time it was like, What are we doing now that’s stupid? It was so different in college—I like college—but it’s just different. I remember asking Coach [John] Foss when I came [to IWU], ‘So do you guys like, play a lot of Ultimate Frisbee and stuff?’ I could tell he was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ … My whole high school career, [Coach Pi] made it fun for me, and I try to make things fun, and I like when other people try to do that. He loves running, and we took it seriously, but he was never—I mean, we had a lot of interesting personalities on the team, so the fact that he balanced all that is incredible. If you knew all of us, you’d just be like, ‘How did he deal with you guys and make you guys pretty good runners?’ He knows his stuff, and he just keeps it fun.”

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