We constantly hear about what it takes to be the best: Talent, Focus and Determination. We have visions in our head of what the best look like. But sometimes the best amongst us are not the most popular or well-known…. They are not the most boisterous or highly decorated…. Sometimes they are just quiet and reserved. But don’t be fooled by their quiet nature…. the quiet and the reserved are quickly making the right kind of “noise” to get everyone’s attention!
What does a True Athlete Look Like? Well you don’t have to look too far because he’s right here amongst our ranks. Meet Nathan Meraw – Gazelle Gang Long Distance Runner. – You really want to know what a True Athlete looks like?!?!
Hockey vs. Running:
Nathan started out his athletic career playing Rep single A Hockey 5 times a week for 5 years. In an effort to become a better hockey player, Nathan decided to take up running. He believed that by running, he could be a better a better athlete. But it was when Nathan began to run more long-distance races that he discovered that he wanted to focus as much if not more of
his time on running. It was then, while still playing Rep Hockey and trying to focus on track at the same time that Nathan decided that he was missing too many crucial track practices. A decision had to be made and Nathan chose his new passion; Track & Field and Cross Country. He dropped rep hockey and replaced it with a hockey select team which would allow Nathan to have more time to focus on Track and Field and Cross Country. Nathan decided that it was best if he dropped down to play on a select team which would hence allow him to have more time to focus on track. Even though Nathan wasn’t doing Rep Hockey he was still involved in the 3 times a week Select Hockey on top of running 2-3 times a week. But Nathan didn’t stop there, he also joined the Jazz and Concert Bands at school playing the Trombone. This meant an additional 2 early morning bands practices per week. What does this say about Nathan?
Well, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Nathan is an individual who gives everything he does his best intentions. He has always had a strong work ethic and has always been well liked by players, friends and teammates as a leader and as a result he has always been either the captain or assistant captain on his hockey teams. Nathan is also no different at Track – always motivating the younger generation of runners and leading his peers with his persistence.
Nathan – The Student:
As a student athlete, Nathan’s grades only indicates what we already know to be true about him. Nathan takes school seriously and understands the value of hard work in school. His marks, low 90s and high 80s. Nathan also does not shy away from the hard subjects as his main focus is Math and the Sciences. And to get thru all of this, Nathan puts in an average of 2-3 hours of homework each night during the school week. Nathan is dedicated. proactive, organized and knows what it takes to get to where he wants to go. Nathan’s goals for his future – He would like to attend University in the field of Biomedical Engineering, Healthy Sciences and/or Forensic Sciences. You would think that with all of this, it would be enough to take up all of Nathan’s time…. but no, Nathan also started a part time job to earn some extra money for himself – working 10-15 hours a week. And all of this, Nathan takes in stride (pun!!!) In the words of him mom “Nathan is a role model. He has a level of maturity and responsibility that is astounding. Nathan takes on everything he does with purpose. He is not a quitter and establishes goals for himself”.
Nathan – The Athlete:
As an athlete of Track and Field, Nathan is an addict to running. He really has a passion for running that we can all see. Nathan goes running on his own when it’s not prescribed by his coaches. He simply runs because he enjoys it and fuels other aspects of his life. Nathan already knows what most of us still haven’t realized yet, to be better you have to work harder and smarter.
The most telling moment about Nathan as an athlete came when Nathan didn’t qualify to OFSSA in Cross Country. Nathan had already put in all the required training plus more, he was determined that he was going to make it…. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. However, instead of crying and wallowing in defeat, Nathan used the experience and set new goals. He told me he was going to come back stronger and better in 2018. He hasn’t stopped but has continued to work hard and set his sights on a new horizon. That is what it takes to be the best, a true Champion. Nathan without the help of anyone else, realized that even in failure there is success…there are opportunities, you may not get to where you want to be today but there is always tomorrow. That’s Nathan….
Nathan – The Person:
Over the years of getting to know Nathan, while he may come across as quiet when you first meet him, but that is so far from the truth. Nathan has a side to him filled with humour. He once showed up at a Cross Country Practice on Halloween with a Horse Head Mask on his head and started making horse noises….Neeeeigh!!! He didn’t just show up with the horse head, he actually wore it during the warm up!!! (See pic) Nathan is also a good friend and so supportive of his teammates. He is well liked in all circles and a source of inspiration for those who see and meet Nate. Nathan already possess the main qualities we look for in great athletes. He is determined, focused, perseveres, learns, is self- motivated, he never misses a practice, he runs with purpose, he has initiative, independence, loyalty and integrity. He may not be the most successful in terms of rankings and placement but this guy already has all the qualities to be successful in the game of life. Nathan has already set himself up for success in anything he takes on. He knows how to achieve it and he goes for it. Each time he steps foot on that track, at a meet, in school or even at work, he is the most dedicated person out there. He won’t let others outwork him, he sets the tone and the pace for himself.
From the boy who could barely finish one lap around the track when he started to the man he has become today who can run circles around any of us, we are proud of this Athlete and we honour him with the upmost respect.
Thanks Nathan for inspiring all of us!
Written By Coach Cathy