“I couldn’t do anything else. When you’re cut from the church baseball team, the junior high basketball team, and you can’t make the junior high track and field team … I’d go to bed at night and I’d say, “Dear God, if you’ve got a plan for my life, I’d appreciate it if you’d show up sooner or later because it’s not really going very well.” I found myself trying out for the cross-country team and running two miles even though I’d never run that distance before. All of a sudden, I made the team, I got a letter jacket, and I started thinking there’s a girlfriend behind the letter jacket. But that’s how it all began.”
Jim Ryun went on to hold 6 world records for distance running, a three-time Olympian, and served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Kansas for over 10 years.