Alan Rodriguez – Class of 2021
Hello! I am Alán “The Ladies Mán” Rodríguez. I am 15 years old and will soon be a sophomore at Har-Ber High School in Springdale, Arkansas. I highly enjoy playing soccer with my friends, going out for dates, reading, spending time with my family, and running with my second family at Triple Threat. I have always been a team player and could best be described as a mediator. I love to get along with all of my teammates and always want them to do the same thing. I especially seem to get along with girls – hence my nickname: The Ladies Mán.
When I was about 8 years old, I started playing soccer for a club. I became extremely passionate about soccer. I even dreamed of going pro whenever I grew up! Unfortunately, that dream ended a few years later. When I was 10, I was told that I could no longer play soccer, because of the risk of my shunt bursting from hitting my head. I was devastated, yet I remained optimistic and believed that God simply had other plans for me. Since I could no longer play soccer, I decided to quit sports and focus entirely on academics. I won several awards and got straight A’s for every school year leading up to 7th grade, yet I was not completely happy.
In 7th grade, my P.E. coach convinced me to join the Central Junior High cross country team after running the mile during fitness testing. Many great things happened after that; I became close friends with my coaches and all 100+ teammates, and I got in better shape – yet greatest of all was that I was finally completely happy due to the realization that running had filled the hole in my heart that soccer had left. That same school year, I began my first track season. I didn’t go to a single meet, and that is what motivated me to work harder.
In 8th grade, I lettered in cross country, won a race in both cross country and track, and finished the year with all A’s. I also set some big long-term goals: graduate high school with highest honours, run D1, and serve my community as a lawyer.
My freshman season will be one that I will always remember, because it was in that season that I met a kid that I would grow to love and care for as a little brother: Dawson Welch. During the summer practices, I noticed that Dawson would be just a couple of metres behind me despite being only a 7th grader! I was impressed by him, and was even more impressed when he beat me by over 40 seconds at the Chili Pepper Festival 5K. That day I wondered, “How is he that good already?” The answer came after the end of the season banquet. Dawson invited me to go to practice with him at Triple Threat. The day came and I was soon at my first practice. There I met guys and girls of all ages that were amazing runners and even better people. I also had the honour to meet coach Shawn. Immediately, he wanted to help me in any way he could. I soon had a lot of respect for him and began trusting him completely.
Since I’ve joined Triple Threat, I’ve gotten stronger both physically and mentally. I am grateful for all coach Shawn does for me and the team. What I love about Triple Threat, is that we aren’t just a team, we are a family. I have made countless wonderful memories here and can’t wait to make more!
- Junior Leadership
- National Junior Honor Society