Coach’s Corner: Give Thanks for Hard Work (It Pays Off!)

Published: November 2017

By: Amy Begley, Atlanta Track Club Elite Coach

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so many of us are taking stock of all of the good things in our lives. One of the things I am thankful for is running – and that includes the good miles, the bad miles and everything in between.


I know I am not alone in that sentiment, and one good example is Sharon Li, who is thankful for how running has changed her life. Sharon decided to start running as her 2015 New Year’s resolution after talking to some co-workers about what it meant to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I met her when she won a year of Atlanta Track Club’s In-Training programs as part of a silent auction. She knew next to nothing about running at the time, but was eager to learn everything she could.


Sharon is very competitive and enthusiastic about improving. In less than three years, she has already run more than 5,000 miles and completed eight marathons, among other races. She quickly realized marathon training requires discipline and consistency, traits she has certainly applied to both running and life. Her hard work has paid off – Sharon reached her goal and BQed this fall!


But Sharon wasn’t alone in that accomplishment. Her husband, David, also qualified for Boston in the same race. He started running soon after she did, and now it is a family affair. Their daughter, Sharon’s sisters and nephews are all runners now. Sharon says it is a passion that bonds their family together.


While Sharon knows the Boston Marathon can be a tough course, she’s ready for more preparation and planning as she works towards her goal. I can’t wait to see how her training progresses and the results on race day!


It may sound strange, but we should all show more gratitude to the hard work we put into running. It is what brings us across the finish line and allows us to crush our goals. It may even inspire others to enjoy an active lifestyle. Running isn’t always easy, but those moments of grit are what make us stronger.