How a ‘Yummy’ is shaping his future by running

The author preparing to run: a feeling of bliss and positive thinking. TFLA photos

The author preparing to run: a feeling of bliss and positive thinking. TFLA photos

By Lawrence C. Ochoa

Editor’s note: Millennials, also known as the “Yummy” generation, whose ages range from 18 to 33 in 2014, are America’s most racially diverse generation with equally diversified directions. They are multi-taskers because they accessorize their lives with technical gadgets. They are prone to a healthy lifestyle. As an estimated 80 million consumers, the media bombard them with appealing products from gym membership, fitness inventions to green environmental choices. Our TFLA writer Lawrence Ochoa, 19, ponders on what motivates his generation to do what they do. And yes, why he runs.

Validation is a crucial aspect of a fulfilling life; in my own experiences, I seek out to accomplish some substantial feats, in order to build that self-confidence.

My academics are an essential part of my lifestyle; successful performance at the collegiate level boosts me to become a well-rounded individual. Along with a healthy and an engaged mind, I strive to have a physically conditioned body.

Exercise helps me achieve that ideal body, providing me with some of that validation. I’m proud to have put myself through the physical strain of hard workouts, to seize the results of my tribulations.

The harshness of the painful workout would only come second to the personal growth I would have. Among the exercises I do, running is one method of keeping myself in shape.

In my younger years, I had not been the most athletic or imposing figure in the sports I participated in (my basketball skills were pedestrian at best and my soccer even worse). As I had reached high school, my curiosity had been raised by the “Track and Field” team where earlier, I had seen track and field as a boring and tedious sport, and perceived that it had too much work, with little-to-no recognition or glory.

An impulse spurred me to participate in the Track-and-Field conditioning. It had been a difficult ordeal, leaving me gassed for some hydration and an even stronger thirst to quit.

However, as I had stuck through the first year, I had noticed some tangible results. I was able to compete in some major events for my team toward the end of the year, from the 1600 to the 3200 meter (mile to 2-mile, in common terms). I had ran respectable times, and even beaten some competitors, giving me some of that hard-earned validation I was seeking for. I saw some promise despite not winning the final races.

Lawrence (right) finishes top 10 of his age group (18-24) in  this Month's 5k run sponsored by L.A. Marathon. His cousin Jeremy Ochoa  ran with him.

Lawrence (right) finishes top 10 of his age group (18-24) in
this Month’s 5k run sponsored by L.A. Marathon. His cousin Jeremy Ochoa
ran with him.

The off-season gave me some incentive to train myself finding hiking trails in the Santa Susana Mountains and other spots in the San Fernando Valley where I grew up. Through this extensive personal training, I had gained a liking to the idea of running competitively and in fact I discovered a physical sensation known as a “runners high.”

It’s received that moniker, as it provides the runner with a feeling of bliss and positive thinking. The sense of “runner’s high” motivated me to finish through a practice and a workout strongly, bringing my potential to unparalleled heights.

In essence, this runner’s high seems to be a by-product of an internal validation, as I appreciated my sustained growth. Without even feeling the fatigue (mentally, or physically) I sensed some substantial improvement.

During my competitive Track and Field career at Bishop Alemany High School (where I graduated from last year), I grew into the habit of having to maintain my conditioning. The company of my team mates brought unrivaled benefits, mostly a sense of belonging.

As a young adult, I feel proud that I have had a healthy lifestyle with my exercise, and that I’m deviating away from some unhealthy habits. Speaking of young adults, usually my age group has outlets of debauchery and impulsive partying; for myself I’m validated by physical exercise.

This month I competed at the L.A. Marathon-sponsored 5k run around the Dodger’s Stadium on Chavez Ravine. Being that this was my first competition since my high-school races, I felt anxiety from having to be in such a high-adrenaline event. As my race started, I felt a burst of speed; my body still had the familiarity of technique and effort coursing through my veins. My runner’s high.

I eventually finished among the top 10 of my age group (18-24), and 64th out of a total of 3,330 runners from all over the globe, mostly from California. This had stamped all of the hard-earned work that I had strived from those initial teenage years, and I hope to carry it beyond.

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