Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2008 Jessianne Heley  
North Bend High School    
Eastern Oregon

An Essay by Jessianne Heley

"Some people create with words or with music or with a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run."
 
Prefontaine could not have said it any better, and many since have tried; yet failed. For that quote perfectly fits the raw beauty of running. It has acted as a proverb for all people who fancy themselves to be an avid member of any running community.

I could have chosen to be in choir, or band, or even taken art classes; however, growing up I simply enjoyed running around. Blame it on the Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder I was suffering from, but I just liked going to recess and running laps. Junior high and high school gym class, you could bet I was racing that warm-up lap on the track, or on those lucky days the mile everyone dreaded, yet I secretly enjoyed. Don't get me wrong, I loved finger painting and play dough, yet I never dreamed of becoming a Picasso. 1 was keeping my eye on the covers of all the running magazines readily available around my house. I could have spent hours fine-tuning a store bought canvas, but instead through my life I've spent hours fine-tuning my God given canvas- my running body.

My parents never went to see a dance performance or concert to watch me perform, but have attended more cross country races and track meets then they'd probably care to mention. Thankfully, they decided to support me in my choice: running. As my running has developed in the last few years, occasionally I manage to spot my family in the stands at a track meet, or by the finish line of a cross-country race. There I often see my father wiping his eyes before anyone could see his tears and my mom just letting the tears flow, knowing once she starts it takes awhile to stop those flood gates. It's after these moments that I know the art I've chosen to be part of is not only beautiful, but is full of love that could not be encapsulated in any other form.