Blood poured down Alicia Follmar’s face as she raced around the track at the 2008 Penn Relays. It looked as if someone had clocked her in the head with a bar as she made her way around the track. Pain struck and momentarily Alicia freaked out when she saw the blood.
Alicia had come here to race and nothing was going to stop her. During the first lap of her three in the distance medley, Alicia and another runner got tangled up and hit the dirt. The runner behind them ended up stepping on Alicia’s head with her spike, stabbing metal into Alicia’s head. Alicia was in third place when the incident occurred with two laps remaining.
So she ran as hard as she possibly could. It was one of those moments Steve Prefontaine spoke of when he famously quoted:
“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”
Alicia picked herself up, bleeding head and all, and sprinted around for those last two laps, holding onto her third place spot with a personal record 1,200m split of 3 minutes and 26 seconds. Five stitches later, Alicia was the talk of the event – not only for getting up to run after the fall, but running as PR in the process.
How do you handle adversity? When adversity strikes, do you sit and wallow? Or do you follow Alicia’s lead and compete? Life will hit you hard. But when it does, push back with all you have, setting records in the process.