Running can be mentally and physically painful at times. Snohomish cross country runner Megan Campbell has learned to push through the pain to succeed.
“She embraces (the feeling) of being uncomfortable,” Panthers coach David LeWarne said. “When the going gets tough, she’s the kid that you want on your side. She has mental toughness, she’s extremely efficient from a biomechanical standpoint and she has inner drive. She’s intrinsically driven with everything that she does.”
Campbell, a senior, has qualified for the 3A state cross country meet in each of the past two years.
“A part (of my success) is having the drive to push myself,” she said. “Running can be really hard, and it can be so easy to not push myself because it can be painful and not fun. But I work hard at it, and want (success) really bad. I have a competitive personality.”
Here are five things to know about Campbell:
She’s a world traveler. Campbell estimates she’s been to about 15 foreign countries, including Thailand, Switzerland, Italy and Peru. “And this summer we’ll go on (another) trip. My mom has family in Finland, so we’ll go there, or Norway or Sweden, possibly,” she said. “(Traveling) has opened my mind to all sorts of different cultures, traditions, races, worldly things.” Last year, she went to Togo, Africa, for two weeks to work with a humanitarian aid group that endeavored to improve the lives of people with limited access to food and education. “A lot of people there didn’t have a lot, but they were happy,” she said. “(A trip like that) makes you appreciate what you have.”
She’s studying Chinese. Campbell is part of the Running Start program, taking college classes at Everett Community College. “(Chinese) is a fun class. I love the teacher and group I’m with,” she said. “I thought learning Chinese would be good for my future in case I need it for business relations. Also, I’m adopted from China.”
She’d like to study psychology or environmental science in college. “I’m interested in the mental-health field. Some of my relatives have issues with (mental health). I feel like there’s a lot of bad stigma around it,” Campbell said. “I’d like to find a career that allows me to help people in an active way. I’d also like to involve myself with humanitarian aid in other countries.”
She’s an avid skier. “We mostly go to Stevens Pass, but we’ve gone to Whistler (Blackcomb in British Columbia) a couple of times, too,” Campbell said. “My parents put me in ski school when I was young, so I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to ski. For me, it’s a lot different from running — it’s less painful, and more fun. My older brothers have taught me how to do a couple of tricks.”
She describes herself as empathetic. “I’d definitely say I’m open-minded,” Campbell said. “I care a lot about certain things. I have a lot of sympathy (for others). With everything that’s going on in the news these days, I get involved, and I tend to get sad when I hear certain things. My parents tell me to not worry about stuff I can’t change.”