FEATURE — Sporting a pair of running shorts and a ponytail, Skyler Storie is the epitome of an athlete – a cross-country athlete, to be exact.
Storie is from Cottonwood, Arizona, where she attended Central Arizona Community College before making the move to Dixie State University.
Storie attributes the discovery of the sport to her physical education teacher in sixth grade, but says her love for the sport came from her high school coach, Jim Bostwick.
“He taught me that enjoying the run and hard work, along with dedication, was really all a runner needed to have to be successful,” Storie said.
This discovery did not stop her from “playing the field,” so to speak. Storie tried her hand (or legs as the case may be) at other sports, which included basketball, softball, and track. There is a difference between track and cross-country, not only in the nature of the sport, but also on a cognitive level.
When asked how cross-country differs from track, Storie said, “It’s harder in a different way. It’s harder, I would probably say, in a more mental way. When you are running cross-country, there’s not really a lot of people out on the courses to see you, it’s just you in the race and the people you are competing against so you have to really push yourself and try and break your own limits.”
Storie does not just leave it on the trail, though. Academics are really important to her as well. Dixie State University appealed to Storie not only for the cross-country program, but also for the academics.
“I really just wanted to focus on my academics, while still enjoying running cross-country,” Storie said.
There is a direct correlation between the two since her sport, in her opinion, has made her more determined and focused.
“You see the work that you put in athletically, you can directly apply that to your academics as well,” Storie said.
Some might ask, How does she do it? One word: miles. Practicing two times a day, three days a week is not abnormal for Storie and her team. Loops around the town, marathon courses, or biking trails; it does not matter which course the team takes, what matters is getting the miles in because that is what builds endurance and helps the athletes perform in races. How has our own Skyler Storie fared? Unbelievably well. She won her last race at University of Nevada Las Vegas, with her fastest time yet, 17:38. Storie was pleasantly surprised at her time. She was not expecting the success so soon, but it was nice to see her hard work pay off.
Storie is not afraid of a challenge. As she shared her training schedule, she made mention of the fact that she liked to train with the boys as much as possible. Say what? You read correctly. Besides her “just because I can” reason, Skyler said she likes to train with the guys because they definitely run faster which pushes her to work harder and keep up with them. Perseverance at its finest, folks.
Storie had a lot to say about her sport and how that sport has affected other aspects of her life, but it was what she answered when asked how she counters runner’s block that stood out significantly.
“Suck it up, you’re almost done,” she tells herself, and that she does.
There are no limits Storie hesitates to push. She has been sucking it up and getting it done, with a love for the sport that is absolutely contagious!
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Written by Breanna Orullian for St. George Health & Wellness magazine and St. George News.
Breanna Orullian is a senior at Dixie State University, majoring in Communications. She enjoys writing as an outlet but also loves to visit new worlds via great books. When she is not participating in these activities, she likes to study, meet new people, and laugh hysterically with her sister.
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