My name is Kyle Schmitz (you may know me better as 4:54, but that comes later) and I am entering my second year with the OSU Running Club. I hail from the extraordinarily average city of Gahanna just 15 minutes away from Columbus. I am a 4th year student majoring in Neuroscience with aspirations of one day becoming a doctor in the field of Neurology. Don’t worry though, thanks to my radical decision to change my major from finance at the beginning of last year, you’ll get to see my bright, shiny face again next Fall when I return as a “super senior”.
As for my running journey, it began as a pudgy 7th grader just trying to get into shape for basketball season, my true passion at the time. However, I quickly learned that being in shape didn’t do me a whole lot of good when I spent the entire season warming the bench. Who knew that a short white kid with no hops and limited athletic ability had no future in basketball? Clearly not this guy. After a year of struggling to run more than a few miles without stopping, I finally hit my stride during 8th grade track season. I won the mile race in the “battle for G-Town” tri-middle school meet in a blistering time of 5:10(this time becomes more important later) and decided this might be something worth pursuing. What followed was 4 years of competitive CC and Track running in high school as well as a team state championship in track. I may never have lived up to the lofty expectations set by middle school pr, but I definitely learned that I loved and had a passion for running.
Sadly, the summer before I started my freshman year at OSU I injured my knee and it turned into chronic “Runner’s Knee”. Over the course of the next 3 years I managed to amass a maximum of 50 total miles and a pretty hefty bill from my physical therapist. I had all but given up on running and it nearly dropped out of my mind completely. However, thanks to a sudden surge in motivation I finally dug my running shoes out of my closet and came to Running Club Last Winter. Maybe it was just dumb luck, or maybe sitting on my butt for the previous year had magically helped me recover from my knee injury. Whatever it was, I was finally able to run three days a week and over five miles at once for the first time since high school. The process of getting back into shape after three years was the true definition of “couch to 5k”. I spent my fair share of workouts getting crushed by everyone and struggling just to finish, but I loved every minute of it.
After about a month and a half of painfully and slowly getting back into shape, I signed up to run the mile at the Illinois indoor meet. Having extremely low expectations, I set my seeded time at 5:10 or as I decided to phrase it “Hopefully I can run the same time as the 5’4 100 pound version of my 8th grade self”. I ended up finishing the race second in my heat (it was the slow heat but cut me some slack on this one) and more importantly finished the race in “4:54”. Thus the nickname was coined and considering some of the other nicknames on the team, I’m more than okay with the fact it has stuck. Since that race, I have competed in several other track races and have even managed to complete a couple of half marathons. My knee still bothers me every once in a while, but it’s something I’m willing to put up with and fight through if it means I get to keep on running.
Aside from just getting me back into running, this club has basically become like a family to me. Whether it involves countless trips to the quality dining establishment, Tai’s Asian Bistro, hyping up every movie we see to the point that it’s not allowed to be bad, or spending hours together in Thompson pretending like we are actually going to get work done, there is never a dull moment with this club. In the wise words of Jack Schlabig, “Nobody has more fun than us”. You guys are awesome, keep it up.