HARTSVILLE, S.C. – While, for some people, running seems like a chore, for Josh Peterson it is something he thoroughly enjoys. Although he did not realize this until his senior year in high school, he now understands his potential and is working harder than ever to reach his goals.
The cross country season is winding down, but Peterson is already eager for the spring season.
"This season we had a young team," he said. "With having a new coach (Vic Finora) we weren't sure what to expect, but we have worked hard and the results have gradually shown. Running success isn't something that can come overnight like other sports where you can win one game and lose the next. It is a long process and the results come over time."
The sophomore from Boca Raton, Fla., began running cross country in high school and made the varsity team as a freshman. Despite early success, Peterson wasn't sure running was something he saw as a long-term pursuit.
"I began running as a freshman, but didn't really enjoy it," he said. I did it because I could. It wasn't until my senior year of high school that I realized how good I was at it and that I could get a scholarship for running. When I finally realized my potential, I actually began to enjoy racing – and winning!"
Peterson's dedication to his sport has reached an all-time high. Even when a season concludes, he continues to train as if it were still going.
"After each season I usually take about a week off to let my body recover, then I like to begin preparing and focusing for the next one," he said.
The spring season begins in March, and Peterson has already set some personal goals.
"This year I want to run the 5K (3.1 miles) in 15:30," he said. "That would be a personal best. I know that with the help of Coach Vic I can achieve that goal."
Peterson is a physical education major with a concentration in exercise science at Coker. To him, with his running background, choosing this major was a no-brainer.
"I really enjoy my major because a lot of it is about physical health, and I like to stay healthy and know how my body works," Peterson said. "Being in this major just makes a lot of sense to me, and I can relate to it easily."
After he graduates from Coker, Peterson says he is likely to move back to Florida to pursue a career in his field.
"I'm not sure what I want to do yet after graduation, but I feel like I'll be ready when I get there."
Story by Marketing & Communications Intern Lucy Fish '13.