February 21 2018
Jim Weber addresses comments he made earlier this year about "real" runners in an exclusive interview.
Last year, I broke the 1,600-meter national high school record by less than a second. In that race, I beat the second girl by more than 15 seconds! It felt so amazing to accomplish that feat, especially as a junior. It was my legs running around the track, but I don’t think I could have done it without my parents.
My mom and dad aren’t big runners, but they are with me every step of the way. My mom is a fitness instructor, so I like to do strength routines with her—she has me do exercises I’ve never even heard of!
On my long tempo runs, my dad rides next to me on his bike. It’s easier to get through tough workouts with him by my side.
My parents have also been my biggest supporters through all my major life decisions, like deciding whether to race professionally after high school or go the traditional college route. It’s definitely a family decision—my parents, my coach and I all move together.
At track meets, I feel stronger seeing my mom and dad cheer for me. When I broke the 1,600-meter record this past May, both my parents were in the stands.
Being able to celebrate with them and my grandparents afterward was really special. They all know the hard work and dedication I’ve put in to get the results I want.
Since I’m frequently running far out front during my races with no other girls by my side, I mentally gain strength from their encouragement. My mom likes to give me motivational quotes leading up to important meets. One lesson she has taught me is to dream big—all things are possible if you have faith in yourself and your abilities. If I make a tactical mistake, like going out too fast, my parents remind me that every race is a learning experience, even if I don’t nail the time I wanted to capture.
There are goals I still want to achieve during my final year of high school—and I know my parents will help me reach them. But the biggest thing my mom and dad want for me is to still enjoy being a kid!
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