• It Starts With One

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in Inspiration     Comments No comments

    By Adam Rosenfield

    FinishingI’m a novice writer. I can string sentences together, to the tune of 300-500 words, for a couple of small blogs, but in no way can I compare to the Ezra Kleins, Nick Kristof’s, even the Kirk Bohls of the world. When I publish a piece, people read it, maybe even tweet it, but it doesn’t cause a firestorm on ESPN, CNN or even the local news.

    In high school, I was a novice runner. Yeah, I ran a sub five-minute mile once, had a sub 18-minute 5k, and even ran a large half-marathon where I finished in the top 50, but in no way could I even compare to the fastest runner in Dallas-Fort Worth, or famous American runners like Alan Webb, Dathan Ritzenheim or Galen Rupp. When I placed high in a race, I maybe received a medal and got some congratulations in the local newspaper, but my finish didn’t cause an uproar on message boards, or get me a cover story in the major running magazines.

    I wasn’t always a sub five-minute miler, or getting regularly published in blogs. I started with an 8:53 mile as a ninth grader; my writing life started with a simple creative fiction writing (my weakness) class as a high school freshman. It was pretty discouraging though, seeing teammates my same age, and even younger ones, destroy me in races. It’s even disheartening now, seeing some of my peers published in large weeklies, or blogs with high traffic, as I struggle with unpaid gig after unpaid gig.

    In both writing and running, I see the same characteristics necessary to improve: repetition and passion. I remember training over the summer, watching running movies, going to new trails, reading books about the history of some of the greatest races and racers. I watched Prefontaine more than 15 times. On weekdays I ran with my teammates at 6 a.m.

    Slowly, my times improved. I worked my way from bottom-of-the-barrel junior varsity to one of the top five runners on the team. I was coming home from races with hardware, and enjoying those mandatory six-mile Sunday runs my teammates and I instituted. I went so far as to run a marathon during the last semester of high school.

    I started out with a blog. I posted random thoughts on random topics–from sports to the facial structure of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s face to the Republican National Committee. One day, a blog post of mine was shared by a blogger with a bigger audience. I kept writing. I got a gig covering sports, my passion, for a bigger blog. I started meeting more writers, people I respected who complimented me. I kept going. And I’m still going.

    I was never a gold medalist and I will probably never win a Pulitzer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try. There are hundreds of you out there like me, aspiring to have your own column on The New York Times or have your blog sponsored by a large corporation (who pays health insurance!). The only way to get there is to keep writing. Alan Webb broke a 35-year-old high school mile record in 2001, but he kept running, as he knew his time was still only the 25th-best in the nation that year. Follow that model–you may only be published in one blog, but keep going, because you never know how far your passion will take you.

    ARAdam Rosenfield moved to Austin in April 2012. He’s been published in such blogs as JDate, Midwest Sports Fans, and SB Nation. He currently works in North Austin during the day, writing editorial content for medical offices, and by night, is a bartender at Lucky Lounge, in the Warehouse District. He graduated from the University of North Texas, never thinking writing would actually come back in his life, and still praying that his Mean Green football team would post a winning season in his lifetime.

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