Running (and winning)

Ami Yamane, Blog

Hmmmm, running. I used to hate it, but now, I love it. But really, I’m in it to win it.

My name is Ami Yamane. I am a junior at Kalani High School, and I’m currently on the cross-country and track and field teams. I only started running in my freshman year of high school when I joined the track and field team inspired by my brother. I had an awful experience at first because of how out of shape I was (this was right after COVID), and I never wanted to run ever again. Yet, I found myself continuing to run and asking my coach for help (LOL).

Here’s me posing for a picture before running the first leg of the 4x400m relay at the 2022 Hawaii State Track & Field finals. (I was very nervous behind my smile.) (Gabe Tom)

While I’ve never won an individual race at a championship meet, it’s still my biggest motivation. Imagining the day that I win is what keeps me motivated to continue running. Knowing I could be the one with the gold medal is enough for me. Standing up on the podium, holding up my medal for my mom’s picture (big cheese, of course), being able to say that I’m a champion — It’s all I want.

Here’s a pic of me in the blocks waiting for the gun to go off in the 4x400m relay on trials day. (Gabe Tom)

I can’t help but think to myself, what if I started running when I was younger? Would I be better? What else about me would be different?

That’s why I work hard now. There’s no point in dwelling on the past and thinking about what I could have done. I can’t go back in time and tell myself to run; I wouldn’t listen anyway. I just have to do what I can now with my best effort.

This is me and the girls posing for a pic after finishing sixth in the 4×400 at the Hawaii State Track & Field Finals on Saturday, May 10. Jasey Friel (12) ran third, I ran lead, Ryan Kaneko (12) ran second, and Koko Watanabe (12) took us home. (Jane Chon)

Whether I’m at practice, school, or at home, you’ll most likely find me doing something related to running (as I’m writing this blog about running in school, LOL). Really, anyone can be a winner as long as they’re willing to put in the work, and I am. I don’t want to give myself excuses, so I do everything and anything to improve. I make sure I eat right, I stretch every night, and I’m always drinking water.

Of course, it doesn’t work like that. Similar to everything else in life, running isn’t a steady improvement all the way through. There are ups and downs, hills and valleys, and let me tell you, it’s rough. I remember when I first started getting in shape, and I saw beginner’s improvement; I was thrilled. At a certain point, the beginner’s improvement ran out because, well, I was no longer a beginner. I wouldn’t say I was a veteran either, though; I had so much more to learn (and I still do!). Teaching myself to be comfortable while being uncomfortable is probably the most difficult lesson I’ve had to learn.

We all signed the baton after placing 6th. The time we ran is the current school record in the 4x400m relay (so it’s special).
(Kokona Watanabe)

The runner’s high that I get after having a good run, tracking my improvement through PRs, looking back at where I started and seeing how far I’ve come, and learning more about myself — that’s what makes it all worth it.

I’m running on the road to success, and I won’t get off until I get to the end — the day that I win.