Although a great movie as a whole, there’s one scene in Forrest Gump that stands out from the rest: Forrest’s run across the country. During those seven minutes of the film, I feel as if I’m being spoken to personally. Think about it: Forrest has just gotten back from the military, his mother has died, and his girlfriend has abandoned him. Then, out of nowhere, he decides to do something different, something nobody else was doing (the running boom was just starting during the time the movie is set in; people running through the streets were often seen as “fools”). He ran down to the end of his street, achieving his goal. Instantly, he creates a new one: run across Greenbowe County. He increases his goals in this fashion multiple times, going on to run across Alabama, to the Pacific ocean, even across the country multiple times. This is something I aspire to be able to do in both my competitive running and my life; work with relentless effort toward one goal, and immediately set another goal upon reaching the initial one. Recently, I have been running some of the most extremely disappointing races of my high school career, completing three mile courses over minute slower that what I can and should be running them. I keep asking myself “Why?”. Fitness-wise, I’m in the best shape of my life. Forrest revealed to me the truth: mentality is the key to success. To reach any success, I obviously need goals. My goals are the truly the only reason that I willingly bear immense pain during the final half of my races; they’re even the what I shape my season’s training around. However, in order to reach them and my potential, I must acquire more grit. Forrest clearly must have struggled with completing his monumental run; such a task would be impossible without difficulties. However, he digs deep, finds that part of him that makes him capable of great things. My English teacher talks a lot about how we need to live our best lives now. I know I can also do this, to dig deeper than before and do the absolute best that I can on a course for that particular day. To be gutsy, to go and race with purpose, and be rewarded. It’s nice to know you’re capable of something, but it’s only truly rewarding once you achieve the standards you’ve set before yourself. So as I train this upcoming week, leading up to another race on Saturday, this is what I will have in mind and what I will try to accomplish (or at least run myself into the ground trying). And once I succeed in what I’ve set forth to do, I’ll create a new goal like Forrest would. And as my season gets better and better, maybe I, like Forrest, will inspire someone else (whether on my team, a reader of my blog, or any other person) to do the same.