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The Beginning!

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Hello and welcome! If you don't know me already, I am Katie O'Grady. I was born and raised in New York but decided to make a big change in September of 2018 when I moved to Boston, MA. I started a new life here in Boston, a new life which is full of adventures ( …well until Covid19 hit). Although, before I talk about my present life, we must go back to the start of it all.

When I was 6 years old, I was diagnosed with a disease called Cystic fibrosis. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects mainly the lungs by causing them to fill up with thick sticky mucus... yum. This environment attracts bacteria that can cause serious infections and scaring. Despite living with a life threatening illness, I always had a longing for running. I use to time myself running around my house, in the yard and even during my first 5k when I was 6 years old. You maybe wondering, why did you want to run so bad and I would probably say " I have absolutely no IDEA". All I knew is that I loved doing it and I can't complain because it has helped my health in ways I never thought it could.

My competitive running career began when I joined spring track in the 7th grade. I told my coach I wanted to sprint the 100 meters, do long jump and run the mile. Looking back at it now, my confidence in jumping and sprinting was way too high for its own good. I suckeddd in the 100m, coming in dead last over and over. I suckkkedd in the long jump, faulting in every jump I did. Then came the mile... surprisingly I wasn't that bad. I was actually pretty good!

Now diving into the 8th grade, I tired out for swimming (yeah I know, what was my head thinking). First day of try outs, I body slammed into the water when "trying" to do a dive. I drove my head into the side of the pool when trying to do the back stroke. After tryouts, I quit on the spot and then was told the next day that I didn't make the team... obviously. A few days later I told my mom I wanted to run Cross Country. She looked at me like I was crazy and said "you know you have to run a lot". I looked at her perplexed and said " I run 5ks with dad, I like it".

Cross Country would be life changing for me and it was also the start of my success as a runner. At our first meet I was so nervous and didn't know what to expect but once the gun went off I was 50 meters in front of the pack, and then 150 meters, and then 200 meters. I just kept opening the gap and truly I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I just kept running... I would go onto winning that race with almost 300 meters on the 2nd place girl.

After great success as a wee little lassie, including winning our championship race and breaking the 8th grade record, I would be pulled up onto the varsity high school winter track team. Here I would go onto winning races, smashing records and becoming an All American at Nationals.

It was an amazing time for me with many goals ahead. Unfortunately, running would not always be this easy as CF would eventually show its evil face...

Stay tuned for my next blog!

- Katie O'Grady

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