Nikki Merrill is a graduate of Portsmouth High School in Rhode Island. In this Dear Running letter, the future Villanova University student-athlete looks back on her high school career and sheds light on how the sport lifted her up, both physically and emotionally, over the past four years.
"Positive words shape a positive perspective. You have also shown me the power of believing in my ability to reach my goals. I can achieve if I am willing to believe." -- Nikki Merrill
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I see no other way to start this than by saying thank you.
I am so grateful for the opportunities that we have been able to experience together, from traveling across the country, to meeting athletes with the same passion. This journey has allowed me to learn so much about you, but even more about myself.
You have revealed a side of me that I never knew existed, and you have helped me discover my capacity for hard work and determination both on and off the track.
Throughout my high school career, you have taught me more than I could ever put on paper. My thoughts at the most pivotal moments of workouts and races have shown me the impact of the words we think and speak on our performance. Positive words shape a positive perspective. You have also shown me the power of believing in my ability to reach my goals. I can achieve if I am willing to believe.
But today, I want to thank you most for the challenges we have faced together. At times, adversity has pulled us away, but I know that in the end it only made us stronger.
When you left me on my own to fight for our future, I was reminded of my dedication to you. I realized that my thoughts and actions were a direct reflection of my love for this sport.
As I embark on this new journey of collegiate running, the experiences we shared will guide me. I will always remember you for cultivating me into the person I am today, and for that I am so grateful!
Portsmouth High School, '19