The Early Years

My first recollection of running goes back a long way. It was when my second grade gym class went outside to run one lap around the playground and time ourselves. There were about 20 kids in that class. I was always the last one picked in gym class and to this day I still cant catch, kick or hit anything to save my life. But that fateful day, I found my calling. We were broken in to 5 groups of 4. In my group there was myself, a kid named Lyle, Lyles friend Kevin, and one other random kid. I remember hating Lyle and Kevin. They were bullies and good friends to boot. (Some years after this day, I knocked Lyle out with one punch in the only fight I've ever been involved with in my life). Anyways Lyle and Kevin were making predictions on who would win their heat. They both thought they would beat that random 4th guy in our group, they both were positive that they’d beat that Rickert kid, but they were both unsure as to who would win out of the two of them. That whistle blew and I ran like a man on a mission. I beat not just the 3 other kids in my group, but every kid in the class by a margin that was insane. Lyle and Kevin were left in the dust trying to catch that Rickert kid, not knowing that over two decades later, that Rickert Kid would be entering in a race that had world-class athletes on it's roster.

Aside from some gym class heroics now and then, I never did much with this ability to run along at a fairly good pace until about 6th grade. In 6th grade I signed up for what was called a Local Athletics League, and started running with a team. I was moderate, but I enjoyed it. It wasn’t something I could mess up, like a sport where I’d be put in to the position where I had to catch something coming at me. Other than that, I’d race my dad in the park behind our house from time to time. It wasn’t until I actually beat him once when I thought he didn’t let me win, did I think I might have some ability.