Runner’s vision leads to UWF


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Renee Cox, a 28-year-old freshmen, who runs on the UWF cross country team, took an unconventional and uncertain path to her athletic scholarship. She said that if she could talk to her 15-year-old self, who quit high school track after one meet, she would say, “Just wait, don’t give up.”
see url Photo courtesy of UWF Athletic Communications. viagra online without prescription Jason Dustin Staff Writer Renee Cox did what runners do—she ran. “I was on the track team my freshman year (of high school) for two weeks,” the 28-year-old UWF first-year student and cross country team member said. “I went to one meet, and it was a relay. I did so bad that I cried and I never went back.”

buying viagra super active from online drugstore The pattern of resistance followed by an about-face repeated itself when Cox, as a 20 year old, dropped out of Tallahassee Community College. Hiding, as Cox described it, was only made easier by the habitual use, and abuse, of alcohol. Eventually, the boundaries of her emotional encounter with running appeared to get smaller, converge and reach their vanishing point.  They had dipped below the limits of her sight and the constraints of her sickness.

clomid drug insert for cyramza “I just cared about drinking,” Cox said. “It got worse, it got better, it got worse. I had a really bad drinking problem.”

The progression of that problem led Cox to seek help. When she was 21 she entered a Tallahassee detox.

“When I got out, I tried running,” she said.

Cox was not finished drinking, but her perspective began to change, and the value she placed upon alcohol depreciated in light of running.

“Slowly I found out that I could be going out to the bar, or I could be out at the track,” Cox said. “And the nights I was out at the track I felt like a totally different person.”

The tug of war between Cox’s old self and new self, as well as drinking and running, continued.

“Then I decided in 2011 that I was going to do the Tallahassee Half Marathon,” she said. “So I trained, and trained, and trained really hard for it. And I stopped drinking for like 40 days.”

Cox, in her first competition since her high school freshman track experience, placed eighth among women and second in her age group.

“I was so excited,” she said. “And I was so sad that I had never pursued it in high school.”

A sequence of life-changing situations, which she chooses to keep private, began to unfold in Cox’s life. Circumstances that brought into focus the gravity of the effect alcohol had upon her. She stopped drinking again.

“I had been praying, ‘God, somehow I need you to save me from going back to being who I was,’” she said.

Still uncertain of her direction, and riddled with self-doubt, Cox decided to enter a race, part of the Springtime Tallahassee celebration. Cox finished ninth among women, and said her life “lit up” once again.

At the urging of one her mother’s friends, she entered another race, which she won.

“That’s when I was like, ‘I’m not going back to drinking, this is amazing,’” she said. “And I was hooked. I did like 30 races that year and ended up winning like 19 of them.”

The male winner at one of those races was UWF cross-country coach Caleb Carmichael.

“I think he Facebook friend requested me and we talked a couple times,” Cox said. “He said, ‘I think you have potential.’”

Cox said she and Carmichael became friends on Facebook and communicated from time to time. She recalled asking Carmichael about UWF, but stopped short of bringing up the possibility of becoming an Argonaut runner. She said their conversations slowed until she received a surprise message from Carmichael earlier this year.

“He said that he would have me on the team if I was eligible,” Cox said.

It was materialization of a vision Cox had treasured in the midst of her difficult times.

“I’d run around the track at Florida State University and I would literally just picture myself on a team,” she said. “It would bring tears to my eyes.”

“When you run, you put scenarios in your head to help you. That was always my scenario: I would be wearing a uniform and I would be running with a team, and my family would be there and they would be cheering me on. It sounds stupid, but it would bring tears to my eyes.”

Hope and opportunities that had resonated deeply with Cox had not vanished. They had passed from her sight and emerged, as she did what runners do.