Steve Prefontaine

International Track Star - Running Legend

2014 Mikena Shay
North Bend High School
Southwestern Oregon CC

An Essay by Mikena Shay

Every dedicated athlete wants to be successful, and that characteristic also shows up in their every day lives. However, success doesn't come easy. Being an athlete myself, I believe you must always give your very best in order to receive the success you seek. Therefore, Steve Prefontaine's quote, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift", are words that I live by as my motivation to be successful in my daily training, my competitions, and my every day living.



In my early years of athletics, I competed for fun and to learn about the sport. As I became older and more experienced, I found that it was in my heart to be a competitive, successful athlete. My drive to become successful grows stronger and stronger as the weeks of training go on every season. With this growing drive, Prefontaine's quote means more and more to me.

Pushing myself to be the best I can be has become a habit. I focus and work towards my goals every day during practice and in competitions, as well as in general daily activities. I always strive for success in academics because it is also important to me to be successful off the track. I believe the meaning of Prefontaine's quote isn't just about athletics. It is about striving for success and giving your best in every aspect of life, then receiving the rewards for your actions.

Striving to be successful comes from within; you must have the motivation and drive in your heart to run that extra mile, or study that extra fifteen minutes. Whether I am sprinting down the track or dribbling down the soccer field, I am always pushing to give more. To give less than my best, means I would sacrifice earning the reward I worked so hard for. It takes dedication and desire to be successful, as well as the will to take advantage of the skills you have learned from hours of training; therefore, appreciating the gift you will earn.