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July 22, 2011

Z’s Letter

Sadly, today was the last day of camp.  We were fortunate to get practice in before the big storm.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with each runner and staff member.  Every one of you has positively impacted my life and for that I am very grateful.

Staff member, Dan Dziubski, “Z” was unable to attend today.  He wrote a note for all of you to read and I will share it below.  It inspired me and I believe it will inspire you too.

Runners,

As camp comes to a close today, I would like to compliment each of you on the past six weeks of training.  It isn’t easy to sacrifice one’s summer, and dedicate yourself to, perhaps, the hardest working camp in the country.  You could have signed up for “sports camp”, “computer camp”, or “play video games until 3am and wake up at noon camp”.  However, you did not.  You were up each morning, by 7, or sometimes 6am, during the dog days of summer, ready to put in the miles and do work.

There are no medals, trophies, or awards for practice.  The only hardware you’ll receive is intrinsic, knowing you’ve put in the work this summer, and did the best you could with what you’ve got.  All these miles, and repeats on the track go right in the bank.  You’re on your way to topping off quite the solid base this summer.  In only a few months’ time, you will be digging deep at regionals, sectionals, and at Detweiller Park in Peoria.  Then you will be able to take a look back and withdraw all the work you’ve deposited, and put it to use.

I enjoyed the opportunity to work alongside each of you, the councilors, and Mr. Kern.  In my opinion there is no greater place to train in America than right here.  Everyone was fortunate enough to train with the defending state champions, as well as several former state champs, current NCAA Divison 1 athletes, one of the country’s fastest triathletes, the heavy hitters, and a 1500m world champion.

Keep up the good work, remain dedicated, and make a commitment to excellence this year.  As Mr. Newton says, “Have the courage to say no”.  Your friends and family will understand that you are not like every other student.  Often times you will be pressured to stay out late, or participate in activities that will not be beneficial to your training, or school work.  Whether it concerns your nightlife, diet, sleep, recovery, training, etc. ask yourself if this will help you reach your goal this year, if so, do it… if not… don’t.

Open up your suitcase of courage this year,

Z

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