Pre-Covid, Changemaker Gavin might not have described himself as a runner.
Participating in cross country at school, “I was quite terrible. Dead last in every race. Which is hard to do when you consider the New York running scene.”
When team athletics and in-classroom learning were cancelled due to COVID, he discovered running on his own terms. This time, he loved it, and excelled - successfully completing 50 milers and 24hr races.
“I’ll think of a very hard thing to do in my head and then work hard to make it happen.”
And work hard he did; maybe too hard. A small injury blossomed into a stress fracture in the right femur, sidelining him for much longer than he’d like.
“It proves everyone who was telling me that I wasn’t training smart right!”
As we all do, Gavin learned the hard way. He went too hard, too often, not enough off days, and found out hitting it hard every day is not the best approach.
“I have to take more easy days, and shouldn’t be running so hard every time.”
And while that might slow him down for now, he’ll be back stronger and smarter. “I feel proud when I realize how far I've come. Now I’m learning to train smarter, I got a coach after the injury, and am learning about the sport and making smarter choices.”
Having goals and achieving them works well for him, even if most of his friends don't get it.
“They do not care,” he laughs, “It’s quite funny”. Luckily, they have other ‘regular’ 14 year old things in common.
It’s just fine with Gavin, as he’s mostly solo anyway, and he has noticed that other sports do seem more popular.
“The basketball team gets lots of attention and spectators, even if the team isn’t any good and doesn’t win any games.
Which he figures might shift if more kids discover running. As a young’un navigating a field traditionally geared to adults, he supports Rising New York Road Runners, who put on free youth running races throughout NYC and provide gym programming for pre-K through 12th schools, after-school programs, and community centers across the US.
More than 240,000 kids from 1,300 sites all around the country have participated.
“Their youth events are great and a good way to get started with shorter distances, which might get more kids out.
It’d be awesome to get more kids competing and see more of those names up on the leaderboard.”
Hopefully he’ll be healed up and back at it soon, and sharing the road with others his age.
“When I'm not running I have a lot of energy. I think my parents have noticed too.”
If you'd like to help support Gavin in his efforts, just enter "gavin" in the discount code box at checkout and we will donate 5% of your purchase price to Rising New York Road Runners on your behalf.
Learn more about our Changemakers program here.
This is in addition to the 1% of total sales Endurance Tap is committed to donating to 1% for the Planet.