A high school runner’s commitment to being the best

by Allison Kerper, Staff Writer

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The official fires his starting pistol and Bryce Fisher takes off. Nerves fade as his feet start to hit the ground in a rhythm he knows well.  He is familiar with each curve as he rounds the track during the 1600 meter race. Observers can spot his bright white spikes and red-and-black track uniform as he makes his way toward the finish line. 

For many high school athletes, school sports don’t define their future. Most do not concentrate all of their time on a sport, realizing that it is unlikely they will ever play professionally – and may not even play past high school. Those who do aspire to continue as college athletes, and possibly beyond, must maintain a different level of commitment to their sport. Bryce Fisher, junior captain of the cross-country team, considers his running career one of the most important aspects of his life. 

Fisher began to stand out at a young age. Starting in third grade, he began running competitively and showing serious promise in the sport. Although he did not commit until high school, it was always clear that he excelled in running. He explained that he previously was unaware of how much potential he had. It was not until he received positive feedback from coaches that Fisher decided to devote so much of his time to track. At age fourteen, he placed in the top ten out of 350 runners at the 2017 Glen Rock Jaycees Arboretum Run. From there, Fisher has only improved coming in first place in the 2019 Arboretum Run. Throughout high school, he has continued to break many personal records. As of spring of 2019, Fisher was ranked in the top three for the 1600 meter race. 

Fisher spends at least fifteen hours a week training. Each day consists of a yoga class, two to three hours of running, and often weight-lifting. He works out to this extent during every season, with a much more extreme regimen during the summer, which includes swimming. He describes that running has grown into something he truly enjoys doing and that he feels guilty during the days he takes off. 

Fisher explains that although he has hopes of becoming a college athlete, his ambition results from the desire to better himself both emotionally and physically. 

“There’s days where I don’t want to go to the gym; I don’t want to run, but I just always think about long term and where I want to be. That’s what pushes me every day,” he said.

Fisher states that he is “hungry for success” and can see himself being the best in his event one day. He explains how these ideas are carried into every aspect of his life, both at home and in school. 

One may wonder how Bryce balances the requirements of being a top athlete with other aspects of being in high school, both social and academic. He explains that it is not always easy to give everything his full focus, and there are days when he has to sacrifice in one of these areas. Emotionally, running is the third most significant feature part of his life, after only school and his family.