We recently had the opportunity to ask student Ben Hopkins, one of our most enthusiastic supporters of Team Unbreakable, to talk about his experience with the Program. Here in his own words, is what he had to say:
When did you become involved with the Team Unbreakable program and what made you join?
In September of 2017, I joined the fitness club at my middle school. We trained every Wednesday morning and started running outside in March. Around April/May, our fitness coach told us about the Team Unbreakable Program and 5K run in June. I was worried at first, but what made we want to join was the fact that I was having such a good time running, especially with my friends. I also wanted to improve my mental well-being as well as my physical well-being — which is what the Team Unbreakable program helped me to do. I first became involved with the program when I did that run in June 2018, and it was amazing.
What motivates you to run?
What motivates me to run is knowing that each time I do so, I become a better version of myself. On some days, I may be slower than I was the day before, but I know that each time I run: my heart becomes stronger, my mental well-being becomes stronger, and I become stronger as a person.
Please share a highlight or memorable moment from your experience with Team Unbreakable (This can include your training progress or the goal runs)
One of the many highlights I have had when running and training for the Team Unbreakable runs is when I completed my 5K in November 2019. I had been running before that, but not as frequently as I normally would, and I had no idea how fast I was compared to June. But I told myself, ‘You don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else, not even your past self.’ So even though I was worried about my time and worried about whether I could even complete the 5K without stopping, I did it anyway and got my fastest time yet. I believed in myself and as a result, I proved to myself that I am better than I thought I was.
Would you recommend this program to other students like yourself? Why?
I would most definitely recommend this program to other students who are my age, older, and younger because it is a great, fun way to get into running as the program isn’t competitive and everyone can run at their own pace and set personal goals. It also encourages good mental health through physical health, which is just as important as physical well-being; mental health is a very important aspect of everyday life and I am glad that the Team Unbreakable Program has helped me to realize that. This program is great for students especially because mental health is very important as we can sometimes face stress at school and feel anxious, and running with the program, or even training for it, can help battle that stress and allow you to become a stronger person at the same time.