Who Am I?

I am an avid runner and have been running since I was 15 years old. I began running low to medium distances while on my high school track team, running the 800 meter and 1600 meter races (I was a sub 5 miler and a 2 minute 800 runner). In addition to the track team, I also joined the cross country team. After high school I still wanted to run and decided to start doing road races. I have probably ran a couple hundred 5k races (16.29 PR)along with many 10k's as well. In 2009 I decided to step up my game and try to tackle my first marathon. I will be honest; the only reason I did this was because my father ran a few and I wanted to show him that I could do what he did. I trained poorly for my first one and regret it. If you are going to run a race, train like you want to win. I still continue to run marathons and other distances as well, and every race is a chance for me to better myself.
I started this blog to hopefully communicate with other runners and to shed any knowledge I may have about the sport that can help other runners. I believe running is the best sport and can be a great stress reliever. I encourage all runners to spread the word of our sport and show people why running is so good and why the community of runners has such great people. You can follow me on twitter @byrne1324 or find me on facebook- Shaun Byrne

Friday, November 13, 2015

Random Friday: A Change In The Sports

This random Friday is going to have a continuation into next Friday. I am going to interview someone about the topic this week and get an insiders opinion, hopefully you will enjoy.

When I was growing up I had the opportunity to play many sports. In the fall I played soccer, and in the spring I played baseball. Let's just say baseball was not my sport, and by that I mean I flat out sucked. Soccer though was right up my alley, it was a sport that played to my strengths. I was fast and could run up and down the field for days without getting tired. I started by playing in the normal league and then moved up to the traveling team. I played soccer for 13 years until I was in high school and then had the tough decision to play soccer for school or join the cross country team, something I wanted to do for a while.  Most of my friends were like me, playing a different sport each season until we were in high school. Even in high school though most of us played at least 2 different sports, while some played 3. It was not uncommon for the football players to play football in the fall, basketball in the winter, and track in the spring. I was lucky because my sports, cross country and track were in two different seasons and the coach was the same for both.
Gone away are the days of a child getting to play multiple sports while growing up. Somewhere over the past 10-20 years kids were ripped there privilege to experience all the sports. It seems now a days a child can play a few sports at a really young age and then by the time they reach 11 or 12 they must choose which sport they want to play. I am going to use field hockey as my example because a co-worker has a daughter that plays and will be the person I interview.  At the age of 11 or 12 a child is usually pushed or decides to choose the sport he or she thinks they will play later in life. They not only play for the school but they begin playing in club leagues outside of the school. Now what happens if you decide to just play for the school you ask? Well think of it like this, lets use field hockey for the example. You have a girl who is playing year round against a girl who is playing a few months out of the year. It would be hard to compete when the girl who is playing year round is getting constant coaching and improving her game.
What is the price to pay though? well there is the monetary value that could cost upward in the thousands of dollars for the trips and tournaments you will have to pay for. Then you have the social price and having to miss out on weekend parties or other events going on. And what is the end result in all of this? A scholarship if your child is one of the few that actually get one. Then you have to ask yourself if you would of just saved the money you spent on tournaments and travel expenses would you of had the money to put your child through that same school?
I often ask myself do some of these kids really want to be playing that one sport so much or would they rather get to experience a variety of sports? Do the parents have more invested than the child? And do we put to much pressure on the child?   Over the next few weeks we will look more into this.

What are your thoughts?


  1. I talk to my coworkers and customers with kids about this subject all the time. I think it's terrible. They basically tell me they don't agree with it but if their kid doesn't play a sport year round then they will fall behind and not get to play. I have friends who's kids play traveling hockey at 8 years old and the parents pay thousands of dollars to travel with them all across the northeast and Canada, 8 years old???? To me it's all completely absurd. Soccer or football in the fall, basketball or wrestling in the winter, baseball in the spring all star baseball in the summer - that's what we did when we were growing up. That's all gone now and I'm already mad that my son will have to be pressured into possibly one sport that he excels at early. When kids are young they should experience all sports and even into high school I don't see the benefit for them narrowing the scope to one unless that's what THEY really want. Everyone thinks their kid is going to be a star and play in college in the pros and the parents have made it about them and not the kids. Sad.

    1. Couldn't agree more. Basically around the age of 10 you have to start thinking about what sport you want your child to play and start investing into it. When we were young you never thought about doing that, you wanted your kid to play a different sport each season. It's sad because I don't think kids today will ever get to experience that. I also think us playing all those sports is the reason most of us are so athletic. We were always playing a different sport and using different muscles.

  2. As a non US native, I am really interested by this debate. It shows also what the parents and the society expect from the child (because at 11/12, I really doubt the child **always** choose his sports, the parents can easily makes his mind). The social impact and dedicated seems huge as well, from the parents and the child, which might raise high expectation later.

    Anyway, I am really interested by that, good debate!

    1. Over the years it has really gotten worse, and like you said I doubt the child is choosing the sport in all these cases. I feel parents are trying to live through their kids sometimes