“I think my favorite part is… connecting, having more core memories, definitely. That I’ll probably never forget.”

Josue holding his medal at the league cross country meet in Elysian Park.
Josue holding his medal at the league cross country meet in Elysian Park.
Bethzy Gomez

Josue Lopez is currently a high school senior at Animo Ralph Bunche. He chose to start running both cross country and SRLA in his junior year because he didn’t really have anything to do and because most of his friends ran too.

Although running many times is often enjoyable for him, like running in the LA Marathon and Holiday Half Marathon, it could be difficult for him as well, like when running with an injury or running in hills.

He also thinks that running has shaped him as a person like making him more aware of his surroundings, appreciating the little things in life, and realizing how helpful humans can be.

He says he will continue running in the future too.



Isabel Lopez: Hello my name is Isabel and today I’m gonna be interviewing my brother. Please tell me a little bit about yourself. 
Josue Lopez: Uh, well, my name is Josue Lopez and I am 16 years old, as of now. I go to Animo Ralph Bunche and I’m a senior. Oh, and I’m, um, Isabel’s brother.
IL: Um, so why did you start running? 
JL: Uh, the reason I started running was ’cause I had nothing to do really. I just kinda wanted to do something and uh, take my time so I wouldn’t be bored most of the day and also because most of my friends did it so you know, why feel left off when I could just join and do it myself too? 
IL: Is there anything you wish you knew before you actually joined? 
JL: Uh, no I think everything is pretty straight forward -nothing new or unexpected had as popped out, but uh, I think no, I think no. 
IL: Okay ss- um, who were your main supports?
JL: Oh, my main supports throughout this year and last year was definitely the coaches, definitely uh -yeah the coaches, the people who applaud you, the people who cheer for you in races like… the LA Marathon. The environment is really nice. You could just hear crowds and crowds and crowds cheering. For cross country as well, you see many teachers come, like for example Mr. Finer, I saw him once. He cheered me on and that was really motivation. 
IL: Um, that, that seems nice. What was your favorite race? 
JL: My favorite race… well for SRLA it would have to be… I have two, the LA Marathon since, well, since that’s like one of the biggest competitions, it’s what you run for, the whole 12, 13, 18, 20 milers. 26.2, that’s what it leads up to it’s just the biggest one, that was really nice. Another one that was really nice in my opinion and probably my favorite… the Holiday Half Marathon. And mostly it was because of the weather that day, it was rainy and that was really nice, it was pretty gloomy but you know I like that weather, it was beautiful. The sensory was nice, the trees were nice, the lake was amazing! It was beautiful. Yeah. 
IL: Are you proud about – on how you did … on those races?
JL: Oh, uh, well, the Holiday Half Marathon it was really wet. And I had taken sweatpants over my shorts because I thought it would get cold but it just ended up soaking up all the water and weighing me down so in the end I just kinda gave up on time and just enjoyed it. Uh, that wasn’t that bad though I did like two si- two sixteen I s- I think, two ‘o five think I’m pretty sure it was two ‘o five. and for the LA Marathon, well I had a previous little injury for a half marathon and I didn’t do too well so I kinda gave up on time as well and just really enjoyed that race and soaked up all the energy.
IL: Did you ever feel like giving up on any race?
JL: Ugh, I feel like that’s a thing many people feel like doing but, me personally no. I think what really kept me pushing is the crowd as I’ve said before, the hype everyone gives you it’s just really good for you. My mental state was all “You can do it! You can do it!” and well, for every race I did do it and I finished. 
IL: Did you have any challenges then? Or was it always easy for you? 
JL: Oh, one of my biggest challenges was probably the hills and – for us we don’t really train in hills mainly because uh, we’re in the city, it’s all pretty flat unless we go somewhere and train for the hills then ya we could be good but no, not really. So I always struggled in the hills especially during cross country, that was really tough for me.
IL: That’s nice but – do you feel like proud of how you did in them?
JL: Ya, I feel really proud of how I did throughout uh, the whole season. I mean, for cross country although it was my first year and, I may not be that fastest but uh, surprisingly for our Freeway League I ended up uh, top 15 I think, 13th place for jj, ah, the varsity team and that was pretty fun for my first season so ya, proud of that. 
IL: So ya, would you say that THAT was your biggest accomplishment? 
JL: Mm, that year I think, I think it really was. It was a really nice moment, I felt really happy and yea. 
IL: Do you have any regrets? 
JL: No I don’t really have any major regrets except for uh, mm, maybe- it would have to be like, this latest race which was ah, the Bimbo 5k. I think I felt really good that day. I mean my breathing was AMAZING! I think it was just, I could have definitely pushed myself more. Aaaa, I kinda regret it, but it’s whatever, I mean it was enjoyable. So, no. 
IL: Wa – what was your favorite part of SRLA or of running, what is your favorite part? 
JL: Up to now, I think my favorite part is… connecting, having more core memories. Definitely that I’ll probably never forget and ya.  That’s just really special moments every time we run every race. It’s just amazing. It’s always new, it’s always different thing, different outcomes, different times, different people you meet during the races as well. I’ve met a couple people who I’ve stumbled across during a race and I’ve talked to and I’ve learned more about them, that’s been cool. 
IL: Um, and has this led to like having future goals?
JL: As of future goals, I think, well, I have an upcoming cross country race the first race of the season and although I didn’t really practice during summer since I kinda had an injury the – I have been pushing myself some what to…uh, get better and better throughout all August that we’ve been practicing all September and ya, I hope for the best, I hope to ah, at least beat my time for the first race of last season so that, that would be nice. And also maybe place higher than top 15, maybe top ten. And as well as the LA Marathon uh, hopefully sub three. As my doctor said, he checked me out and I’m like -oh I’m healthy right, I could run right? He filled out my forms and everything and said, “Oh yeah you’re good” he told me, “now you have to run a sub four marathon.” And um, ya well, now I will try to. Sub four ya. 
IL: Is there anything you’re looking forward to? 
JL: [Making weird noises with mouth; blowing raspberries? I don’t know what that’s called] Anything I’m looking forward to, yes. I’m looking forward to finishing off my senior year strong not only in running, but in general school the – academically I just wanna do good I, wanna do better than I have been doing, I wanna get into a good school maybe, wanna have a better future have a good college. And definitely continue running. I probably will not stop.
IL: And finally, do you think running has changed you? 
JL: Running definitely changed me as a person. I think it’s really made me more self aware of everything, my surroundings – I mean it may not be big but like simple stuff like looking at your surrounding when you’re running ’cause your about to crash into someone, that’s even important, ’cause I mean, you don’t want to get hurt or get someone hurt kinda makes you aware of not just when you’re running but, everything in real life. Pay attention to the little details, the small details, make sure everything’s good as well as like running. The community is always helpful; they always are there for you. At the stops giving you water, helping you pull out your muscles, calm them, massage them, it’s really nice. I mean people are really good. Humans are nice, caring and I think that has definitely changed me to care more for the people around me.
IL: Oh okay, well yeah, very meaningful. Uh, thank you, thank you. 
JL: Ya, of course, you’re welcome.
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    Brandon AOct 13, 2023 at 10:39 am

    Never give up