Hester Lam ’15

To be honest, I hate running.  I first considered running in high school when I heard about the Princess Half Marathon held by Run Disney and decided that running a marathon was something that I really wanted to do as a bucket list item. However, I didn’t end up signing up for this race.  I hated running so much, it kept me from actually participating in the Princess Half Marathon.

Despite having many knee problems my sophomore year, I started to seriously consider running when a close friend at CMC ran her first marathon. I had no excuse to not run when so many people I knew were unable to run at all.  I am fairly healthy, so it is important for me to start running while I was in my peak.  After all, there are so many people that physically do not have the strength or ability to run all these miles, and yet still do it.  What was my excuse?

So I began training.  Slowly.  Very slowly.  I ran three miles that first week in around an hour, and was extremely depressed.  I didn’t expect to suddenly be able to run six-minute miles, but twenty minutes was rather depressing.  However, I kept pushing myself to keep running, and I challenged myself to run a quarter of a mile more every time I ran.  Eventually I trained up to my first half marathon and finished it in a little over three hours.  To date, I have completed seven half marathons and two full marathons, as well as a couple of 5Ks and 10Ks.

Running the LA Marathon for the second year is important to me because this is the first time that I am running for a cause.  Without the generous financial aid offered from CMC, there’s no way I would have considered attending the college that ended up being perfect for me.  There is so much CMC has to offer, and it shouldn’t solely be for students that can afford the sticker price.  I have learned and grown so much during my time at CMC (for example, I NEVER would have considered running a marathon prior to CMC, and would never have felt encouraged enough to actually do it if it weren’t for the friends I made at CMC) and I want to help ensure that these opportunities are given to potential future CMCers as well.

Don’t get me wrong, I still hate running.  When I sign up for races, it’s often because I want the medal that comes with completing each race.  But one of the things that keeps me going after I’ve hit the wall is remembering that the hardest part of running is getting out there and actually doing it.  Running is very similar to what I’ve learned as a “leader in the making” while at CMC.  Being a leader means helping those who are not in a position where they can do it themselves, and be passionate in all that you do.  That, at the end of the day, is what being a leader truly is to me.


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