Dear Younger Me: This Chapter Of Your Life Is Finished

Elijah Dryer

Dear Younger Me,

I just wanted to take a moment to thank you. Yeah you, you're the one who started this crazy journey 5 years ago. You're just some kid who loves competing, especially when it comes to racing. You love the feeling running and you get a rush from it. Running seems like the only time the world is silent around with only the sound of the wind in your ears. The simple fact is you just like to run and run fast. However, You'll never quite step foot on a track until your senior year of high school. It's kinda funny how this whole thing started. During the summer of your senior year you'll be at football workouts training for the upcoming season. You'll want to run the 40 against anyone who dared to toe the line with you. Somehow the track coach, Ricky Sierra, will plant this idea in your head about trying out the track team. At first you'll declined stating that you played lacrosse in the spring and you wouldn't have time for two sports. But as spring approaches that idea Ricky planted would start to take root. You'll go on and make the decision to run based merely off a second thought. But little do you know, this is where your journey begins. You have no idea what you're getting yourself into, but it'll turn into the best decision you'll ever make.

But the time has come, and it arrived so much quicker than we imagined. 6 years will go by in the blink of an eye. But, I guess that's on par for us, doing things fast. I'm writing this to you at the end of your track career, with tears running down my face. But they're not necessarily sad tears, it's just hard to not be emotional after experiencing the journey I know you'll go on. 

During this journey you'll experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. You'll experience both triumph and defeat, adversity and success. You'll pour your blood, sweat and tears into this sport day in and day out for years. You'll spend hours, upon hours, upon hours perfecting your craft, all for races that last less than a minute. Your mental and physical capacity will be put to the test time and time again. This sport will try to break you, but know that it doesn't. There will be a few times in your career when you'll want to quit and give up because you feel like you're not good enough and don't belong. I advise you to push through these times and keep moving forward because your breakthrough is so close. These times of tribulation will test you and provide you with lessons that you'll use throughout your life. You'll forge relationships with so many and the friends you'll meet through this sport will stick around and support you when the road gets rough. You'll travel around the country and visit so many places you would've never gone. You'll break school records and cement your name in history for years to come. You'll run against Olympians, professionals, and friends alike. You'll fall in love with this sport and develop an obsession with it.

Just remember that while this sport is a big part of you, it does not define you.

And after 6 years, you'll get to where I'm standing now, and I hope you can look back and realize just what you've accomplished in your time. Don't downplay the contribution you've made. Don't forget that impressions on people's lives you've made and be forever grateful that God had given you this amazing ability.

With that being said, this chapter of your life is finished. It'll be one that you'll flip back to re-read every once in a while. But rest assured we'll close this chapter with no regrets. We poured every fiber of our being into every opportunity we were given. And now we can continue to move forward and starting writing the next chapter.


Older Elijah Dryer