|Posted on September 19, 2020 at 8:20 PM|
If you’re reading this post, you might be wondering how in the world did Miles come to the realization he wanted to coach? Maybe you’re thinking what is his background or what are his qualifications? Or perhaps you’re simply wondering who is Coach Miles? Well, if you keep on reading, I am going to tell you.
I love storytelling and believe the first step to learning about someone should be hearing their story. So, I’ve decided to tell you a little bit of mine. I think I’ll split this up into multiple parts to keep you guys on your toes. So, here goes …
I didn’t grow up as a super athletic or competitive kid. My early sporting endeavors consisted of church sponsored soccer and basketball, but during most of my earlier years, I had very little interest in sports. I don’t know if you would call me a nerdy kid, but I loved school and had straight A’s across the board. I loved history and science and the only time I was ever competitive was with anything Nintendo GameCube or with Pokémon on my Gameboy. However, that all began to change around 2008 when I was in the 5th grade. I went to an elementary school where each 5th grader was required to choose a “major”. Having no interest in music or art, I decided to follow what most of my friends were doing and became a P.E. major. As part of the class, we filmed weekly exercise videos that were shown to the entire school each Wednesday morning.
We also kept monthly fitness logs that assured the P.E. teachers we were active outside of class, and we competed in weekly fitness challenges (If anyone is wondering, I’m the 2008 Lake Murray Elementary Jump Rope Champion). I was very blessed to have had a pair of amazing teachers who made exercise at a young age so exciting and engaging. This is where my love for health and fitness began.
Also, in late 2008, some of you may recall that the economy took quite a nosedive. This put a lot of work-related stress on my dad (thankfully, his job survived) and to combat this stress, he dusted off an old treadmill in the garage and started walking (it was winter) and slowly built to running. It probably wouldn’t have been most people’s first choice, but for some reason my dad soon decided his new hobby was going to be distance running.
Eventually, Dad left the treadmill behind and ventured out on to the neighborhood roads. I don’t remember my initial decision or the day or anything like that where I decided to join him, but I did. I can assume it was because anything your dad does when you’re 10 years old is the coolest thing on the planet. So, naturally, distance running became my new hobby, too.
My first memories of running are purely recreational. I simply just went out to run because I enjoyed running with Dad. There was no training or goal setting; it was simply for the joy of being outside and moving my body. However, in April 2009, Dad signed me up for my first 5K.
I don’t remember the name of the race or exactly where it was, but that day I ran a 27-minute 5K and won first place in my age group. At the time it was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I had to constantly fight the urge to walk or stop altogether. Walking into class on Monday morning with my shiny winner’s medal for show and tell made it all worth it.
I wasn’t the fastest kid around (I was second in the 5th grade mile to Bradford Smith who ran a 6:30 while I only clocked a measly 7:02) but not many other kids were into distance running at that time, so it made my new hobby very unique. I enjoyed standing out from the typical baseball, football, basketball, or soccer that my friends were involved in. Add to the fact that my name is Miles, and it seemed like I was meant for this whole running thing. I was hooked.
Fast forward a bit, and it so happened that one of my mom’s good friends and co-workers had two older sons who ran cross country for the local high school. I remember one day Mom came home and told me about cross country, and how in the state of South Carolina, 7th graders can try out and compete on their local high school teams. Maybe this could be a great opportunity for me, she thought. At the time I had no idea what cross country was or what it was about, but the idea of running with other kids close to my age seemed like a great idea. I never could have guessed the impact this conversation was going to have on the rest of my life…