Connor Sheryak: Running Shoes


            Connor Sheryak is a 2013 St. Xavier graduate.  He finished his career with three individual Kentucky State Championships (1 XC, 2 Track 3200m.)  He was a key part of three Class AAA Kentucky State XC Team Championships for St. Xavier and one Nike Cross Southeast Regional Championship.  He will take his talents to Washington D.C. next year as he will run for Georgetown University.  He wrote a reflection about Running Shoes.


            Size 7.5 (Width D) Brooks Adrenaline running shoes.  A trivial item for most people, but not for me. To me they mean a whole lot more than a pair of shoes. They symbolize my entire four years of high school. After four years and thousands of miles of high school cross country and track, I’ve amassed nearly twenty pairs of these shoes. When I see all the old shoes cluttered in my closet I think of the experiences I’ve had wearing them and the values I’ve learned from those memories.

             I’ve seen the value of hard work first hand throughout the past four years on my cross country team.  I’ve seen very talented athletes show little effort and become failures. I’ve seen very mediocre athletes dedicate themselves to training and excel. And I’ve seen great athletes work very hard and become legends. These memories remind me to never stop working, never stop trying so that any talent that I may have will not be wasted.

            The ability to accept disappointments, move on and do better the next time is important. My team was the favorite to win the state championship my sophomore year. We were very good, but our biggest rival ended up beating us at the State Meet. Obviously we were all disappointed, but we didn’t dwell on it. We moved on and swore to win the next year (we did).  Because of this I know  that while I will always have disappointments; I just have to take them in stride and use them to improve myself.

            Finally, my running shoes remind me  of something more personal. I’ve met my best friends while wearing all of these pairs of shoes. These are people with whom I’ve shared all the work, all the disappointments, all the success. These are the people with whom I’ve argued, competed and grown.

            Every time my mom sees the pile of shoes in my room, she wants me to throw them away. Perhaps I should, but I cannot bring myself to it. To her it’s just a pile of rubber and cloth. But to me it’s memories, values, lessons and friendships that ultimately represent who I am.