When Billy Strickland started running, he had no idea how much running would positively impact his life.
Strickland has overcome numerous obstacles throughout his life, and he never stopped running after his dreams, and he is this week’s Male Athlete of the Week.
“I thought I looked fat in the mirror, so I decided to start running,” Strickland said. “I just thought it would be something else to do, but now I’ve seen improvement in myself, and it’s an amazing experience that I’m able to compete.
“You have to have the right mindset if you want to have any chance of succeeding.”
In middle school, Strickland’s mother, Jennifer, enrolled him in karate classes, and Strickland reached black-belt status by the time he was 14 years old.
Heading into high school, Strickland was looking for another challenge, and Jennifer helped get her son into cross country.
Strickland, who has a 3.7-grade point average, said his mother has always been his No. 1 supporter, and he credited her for consistently staying involved over the years.
“She helps me get through it,” Strickland said
At first, Strickland said he was nervous about joining the cross country team, but once he started running, those nerves gradually dissipated.
And over the past few years, Strickland developed into one of the Eagles’ top runners, he runs a 5K in 19 minutes, 44 seconds, and this year, Strickland wants to set a new personal best.
“If I can beat that, then I’ll be a happy camper.”