Ten Lessons

Photo credit: Georgetown Athletics


Hi everyone, and welcome to The Oval! 

Recently, I’ve been reflecting a lot about the ways running affects my life beyond the practices and competitions I wish I could be at this spring. I miss my Georgetown teammates like crazy, and solo runs in my neighborhood don’t feel the same as races under the sun or the stadium lights. 

And yet, when I head out the door alone some part of me does feel those moments, and those memories and hopes keep me going.  Even though I’m now almost halfway through college, I still hold tight to these lessons on running & life that I wrote at the end of high school. 

  1. There is always someone better than you at everything. This should be refreshing, not scary. So be prepared, enter the race anyways, and fear no one. You have intelligence and grit, so never count yourself out, even when it seems others have.
  2. Not every day is going to be perfect, much less fun — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep showing up.
  3. Sometimes we can learn more from losing than from winning.  
  4. Consistently improving is far better than being a flash in the pan.
  5. You shouldn’t love something because you’re good at it, but rather the opposite — people see success when they decide they are doing what they love and go all in.
  6. When you find something worth doing, it should give you more confidence than anything else has, while at the same time humble and challenge you.
  7. Like running — and school as well — life makes you honest in the end. If you don’t run in the summer, or if you don’t read that book you were really supposed to read for class, it will eventually catch up to you — and you won’t be able to convince yourself or anyone else that you prepared in the best way possible. There’s just no pretending, and sometimes you simply need to do the hard work. 
  8. Don’t be afraid of 110% jumping into something, but never compromise family, friendships —  or, more importantly, your own health — because you’re too caught up in putting your nose to the grindstone. 
  9. If you are positive & happy to be where you are and you love your sport, your job, your class, your school — people WILL notice. People don’t notice apathy; they notice those who want everyone to be just as excited about something as they are. 
  10. Working hard is much easier when we are surrounded by supportive individuals to get us through. 

I know some of these lessons seem cliché, and some of them are hard to apply to life the way it is these days. You can take them or leave them, but they always remind me of people and moments that have lifted me up when running, and life outside the sport, have brought me down. 

They have made me stay in love with running and in touch with life. 

I am so thankful to have my sport—our sport—in the midst of this uncertainty. 

Hoya Saxa, and keep your heads up…


KATIE DAMMER — GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY

1600: 4:47.94

Mile: 4:52.23

3000: 9:45.76

3000S: 10:43.47

6k: 21:05.2

BIG EAST 4×800 CHAMPION


Follow Katie on Twitter and Instagram

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