Dear Running: Change Was Hard, But I Learned To Adapt

Gavin Frick is a senior at Celina High School in North Texas. He's a three-time state track and field and cross country championship qualifier in Texas and Ohio and is currently his team's top runner. He writes about the change that has come to define his career thus far. 

"It wasn't until I moved to Texas when I began to realize a few things. I took running for granted. And I didn't understand just how important it was to my life."

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By Gavin Frick -- Celina High School

Dear Running,

For some people, change is a natural part of life. They might fear it. They could chose to avoid it. Others might run away from change. I know constant change isn't the most comfortable way to live life. But to me, it's taught me some of life's most valuable lessons.

In January, my family moved to Texas from Ohio. It changed my life drastically. I went from living a simple and comfortable life, in a high school where I developed good friendships, to having to navigate my way through a new and unfamiliar environment.

As a junior in high school this was no easy task, considering most people my age already had their friends. I asked myself before coming, 'How am I supposed to meet people and find a group that I can connect to?" 

My family moved because my dad's job gave him the opportunity to lead his company's expansion. While convincing us that this was a great opportunity, he made sure I understood one thing: Throughout our lives we'll be forced to travel outside our comfort zones if we ever want to improve the situation we are in.

I realized I would have to eventually do that when I go to college. So I thought, 'Why not just get used to these drastic changes now?' 

Very quickly, I realized adapting to my new life in Texas would be a lot tougher than I had imagined. Not only was it 60 degrees and sunny in January, but I was unfamiliar with my teachers and classmates and I was uncomfortable during practice. It took some time to find some peace. 

For much of the track season, that didn't change. I would get home from school in the afternoon a little confused because practice was in the morning and I had nothing to do. I knew nobody yet. I felt isolated.

That's when I realized just how important running was in my life.

Of course, before our fateful move I still lived and breathed running. One of my favorite memories is of starting a fantasy cross country league --  I still do with many of my friends in Ohio. 

But it wasn't until I moved to Texas when I began to realize a few things. I took running for granted. And I didn't understand just how important it was to my life.

All of my best friends have come from running. Had I not started running in junior high, I would not be the person I am today. I wouldn't aim to be the person I want to be someday in the future. This transition in life truly opened my eyes to the beauty of the sport.

It's not just the countless hours I spend reading training guides and surfing the internet for high school and college results. This sport became my life because it was the one constant that stayed with me from Ohio.

Running is what eventually introduced me to people in Texas. Eventually, I became very close to my new coach and I began to interact more with my new teammates. They ultimately gave me more confidence, too. 

When I first moved, the transition was difficult and my training took a hit. I had to overcome a considerable amount of adversity. I had to change a lot of what I was used to.

But when I look back at it, I wouldn't change a thing. I might have lost a few seconds of a PR, but I learned how to cope. I learned what needed to be done to achieve success. I made things work, and by March I had won my first race in only my second meet in Texas, winning the 3,200m at the Texas Distance Festival.

As the year went on, the obstacle of moving started to fade away. In April, I even qualified for the UIL Clas 4A State Track and Field Championships in the 3,200m and finished eighth. 

More change came this fall. I started at another high school, Celina, and now I'm starting the process over again. But I'm excited for what awaits me.

Through all the adversity, the challenges, and the change that was put before me, running has been the one thing that has stuck. It's been my constant.

For that, I owe everything I currently have to this sport.


Gavin Frick, Celina '20