Recently I interviewed Miranda, who is a senior in high school, is the youngest of four children, and has a passion for running, and who also happens to be my daughter. 🙂 She loves studying the gospel, reading, music, friends, and her family, and she can’t wait until her older brother comes home from his mission in July. Miranda is a ray of sunshine, a delight and a joy, and an example of goodness to everyone who knows her, and I can’t believe I am blessed enough to be her mother. And even though we talk all the time, I learned some interesting things about her in my interview. Read on to learn more about this darling girl (and yes, I know that I am biased, but really, she’s a darling girl).
Me: Why did you decide to pursue running during high school?
Miranda: It wasn’t so much “running” I wanted to do as it was cross-country. My older brother had friends who were runners, and one day one of them told me I should do cross-country. I didn’t know much about the sport, but I was an awkward soul, and I knew that if I joined the cross-country team I would have instant upperclassmen friends and meet some other people from my grade.
What surprised me was how much I came to love running. Before high school, I was really into drama and had been involved in some acting groups and musicals. I did the school musical my freshman year at the same time that I was doing cross-country, but after they both ended I knew that running was what I wanted to do. The people at cross-country embodied what I wanted to be; plus, it made me happy! It’s definitely the best decision I’ve ever made.
Me: How did you do in cross-country and track?
Miranda: I had a good freshman year and then as a sophomore and junior I really started to excel. I pr-ed [set a new personal record] almost every race, helped my team out a lot, and I was a captain as a junior. My senior year of cross-country was quite a struggle; I had a lot of mental blocks and I started to slow down. But even though I had a really hard time running-wise, I learned more about life that season than any other. When track season came around a few months ago I knew I wanted to go out on a high note, and right now I’m starting to get back on my game. The switch came when I decided to give it my all no matter the cost.
Me: What events do you run? Tell me about them.
Miranda: In cross-country we run 5k’s, which are really hard mentally because you’re running so hard for so long; in track I run primarily the mile and the 800 meter. My friend saw something on the Internet that said, “Why run the 800 when you can light yourself on fire and roll in broken glass and feel the same way?” and that is seriously the best way I can think of to describe it. The first 400 meters aren’t too bad, but then it gets progressively harder and ends with you feeling like you’re wading through molasses. It’s pretty intense.
Me: So, why run? What is it about running that keeps you coming back for more?
Miranda: I’ve asked myself that question SO many times. I do love running and the sense of accomplishment you get after doing something so hard, but when it comes down to it, the main reason I always come back is because of my team. I cannot think of a group of people I would rather be with; going through so much physical strain and growth together has bonded us in a way I can’t describe. We have a really interesting and fun dynamic on our team, and everyone brings something different to the table. We’ve been known to sing Disney songs on runs, get in mud fights, laugh so hard that we cry, run so hard that we cry, bear our testimonies, have birthday parties for our dogs, discuss scriptures and the way the world works, and every other thing you can think of. I wouldn’t trade my experience with these girls for the world and I love them SO MUCH.
Me: What has running taught you?
Miranda: MAN that’s a hard question. One thing I’ve really learned is how to endure to the end. I know that there are going to be a lot of times in my life, whether it be on a mission, in college, in relationships, etc. when I’m going to have to choose whether to give up or to finish strong, and running has taught me how to finish strong. I’ve learned that Heavenly Father really and truly cares about what I care about, even if it’s something as small as a race. Cross-country and track have strengthened my testimony about God’s love for me, because I’ve felt it through my teammates, through my coach, and through my running. He loves me and will help me whenever I ask. I’ve learned how to love unconditionally and rejoice in others’ successes, and how to find joy in every little thing.
Me: What are your plans after graduation?
Miranda: Well, I’m starting BYU in the summer, and I’m planning on going on a mission in about a year and a half (I’m really young for my grade). Right now I want to go into nursing, but I can’t stand the sight of blood, so we’ll see if that happens. I don’t know yet if I want to try to run in college, but right now I’m kind of leaning towards taking a break and then training for triathlons.
Me: What is your favorite scripture?
Miranda: I have a lot of scriptures that I really love, but one that’s been on my mind a lot lately is Romans 8:38–39: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sometimes life leaves me feeling worn down and alone, but I know that nothing will stop God from loving me. No matter how low I’ve fallen or how alone I feel, I’m never truly alone. I never have to feel completely forsaken like Christ did on the cross; He’s been through that so that I don’t have to. God is real and God is good, and God is a God of love! I know that!