While I was competing as a Lumberjack for the NAU Cross Country team I worked hard. I had big goals coming into college, and after a few years, it became clear that some of those goals were just too lofty for me. I kept my head down and plugged away, putting my heart and soul into every race, workout, and run out on the trails. Each year I got stronger, faster and ended up with what I consider a pretty successful career. With the help of Coach Heins, I felt like I did everything I could to reach my potential. And that was enough for me. I was always a team player, but deep down inside I did all this for me. I put in all the hard work so my future self could look back at it all with an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. In the words of Quenton Cassidy’s, “I discovered early on that the truly great advantage of going all-out every time is that later you don???t have to waste a single instant second-guessing yourself.” It really is a great way to live.
Then my girlfriend Mo showed me this article, a Q&A with Tim Freriks in the Lumberjack newspaper:
LJ: From an athlete???s standpoint, there have been a lot of teammates, mentors and coaches that have influenced you as a player. Out of all of them in the past or present, who has influenced you the most in your career, or as a person?
TF: There are two big ones. One of which was my high school coach. He really influenced the mentality that I have now, working hard and grinding through it. And also Jason Pedersen; he???s a graduate assistant coach for us now. His mentality and work ethic is like second to none. He was running 110 miles a week, he ate right, slept well, [and was a] straight-A student in mechanical engineering, so it was a template I wanted to follow. He did it right and it paid off, so I want to do the same thing.
Suddenly I feel a new feeling. After reading those words from Tim, I no longer just feel satisfied of my running career at NAU. My efforts, my daily sacrifices, my commitment to myself meant something to someone else. And more than that, it has left an impression. If I had more accolades to my name I would call it a legacy, but my victories weren’t the kind that you could hang on the mantel. It means so much to me that someone else recognizes that.